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Consumer Confidence Declines in Fourth Quarter

Canadian consumer confidence fell in the fourth quarter, due in large part to concerns about the long term health of the economy. Despite the decline, Canadian consumers remain more confident than consumers in the United States. The Harris/Decima – Investors Group Consumer Confidence Index stands at 72.6 today, down from 77.5 in August.

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  • In total, 25% of Canadians believe they will be better off financially a year from now. Conversely, 14% feel they will be worse off a year from now. This split remains unchanged from August.
  • Just over one in ten Canadians (12%) sees good times ahead for the economy in the next twelve months. Conversely, 30% see bad times over this same period. In August, this split was 13%-27%.
  • Just over four in ten (42%) believe there will be good times financially for the Canadian economy in the next 5 years, while 46% believe there will be unemployment and recession over this period. This represents a shift from August when 49% foresaw good times, while 37% saw bad times ahead.
  • Four in ten (41%) believe that now is a good time to make a major purchase. Nationally, 41% believe it is a bad time to make such a purchase. In August, this split was 45%-39%.
  • In terms of how people perceive the last year, 14% indicated they were better off financially compared to a year ago, while 26% feel they are worse off.

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According to Senior Vice-President Doug Anderson “This wave of Consumer Confidence data shows that while Canadian consumers remain more confident than their American counterparts, the gap may be closing. For three quarters in a row, Canadian consumer confidence has consistently shown a slight downward trend and in this most recent quarter, American confidence has rebounded somewhat.”

“Consumer confidence can be quite reactive and this appears to be one of those times. The Canadian economy continues to perform well and forecasts for the future are also quite good,” said Jack Courtney, Assistant Vice-President, Advanced Financial Planning at Investors Group. “Canadians should take a long term view of their personal financial objectives and stay focused on maintaining equilibrium.”

These data were gathered through teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus survey for two weeks from November 17 to November 27, 2011 for just over 2,000 completes. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

Media Contact:

Doug Anderson
Harris Decima

Ron Arnst
Media Relations
(204) 956-3364