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Consumer Confidence Holds Steady

Winnipeg, MB – April 14, 2014 – Canadian consumer confidence in the first quarter of 2014 was higher that it was one year ago but slightly lower than the final quarter of 2013.

The Harris/Decima – Investors Group Index of Consumer Confidence stood at 81.2 in the first quarter of 2014, ahead of where it stood one year ago when the index was 77.6 but down slightly from the 84.4 recorded in the last quarter of 2013.

According to Harris/Decima Senior Vice President Doug Anderson; “We’re describing Canadian consumer confidence as relatively stable despite the small decline compared to the previous quarter - which had achieved the highest point in three years. Despite a slight increase in negative sentiment, there is nevertheless also a positive trend emerging on outlook for the Canadian economy in the short term.  Canadians are becoming a little more polarized on this dimension, while there is greater consensus on personal circumstances and prospects.  It suggests that some are envisioning improvements that will benefit households other than their own.”

“Canadian consumers appear to have a good level of confidence in the economy and in their personal outlook, despite slight increases or decreases in the index,” Gaetan Ruest, Vice President, Product and Corporate Research at Investors Group. “They are indicating continued confidence in their ability to spend and save according to plan as they grow and develop their families and lifestyles.”

Harris/Decima-Investors Group Consumer Confidence Index

Almost one in five (19%) see good times ahead for the economy in the coming years, while 17% see bad times ahead. In the last quarter of 2013, 17% saw good times ahead, while 15% saw bad times.

People are more optimistic about the long-term outlook for the economy. Almost half (48%) see good times ahead in the next five years. Conversely, 38% believe the next five years will bring unemployment and recession. In the last quarter of 2013, this split was 50%-35%.

Roughly one in four (26%) say they expect to be better off financially a year from now, while 14% feel they will be worse off. In the last quarter of 2013, this split was 28%-10%.

Half (49%) feel now is a good time to make a major purchase, while 34% feel it is a bad time to bad. In the previous wave, this split was 50%-31%.

Less than one in five (18%) say they are better off financially compared to a year ago, while 22% say they are worse off. In the last quarter of 2013, 21% said they were better off, while 18% say they were worse off compared to a year ago.

Better off a year from now Worse off a year from now
One year outlook 26% 14%
1 year economic outlook 19% 17%
5 year economic outlook 48% 38%
Good time Bad time
Making a purchase 49% 34%
Better off than a year ago Worse off than a year ago
Compared to one yr ago 18% 22%

Positive Sentiment

Negative Sentiment

Data was collected using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) via the Harris/Decima teleVox omnibus. Overall, 2,080 completes were collected nationally between February 20 and March 3, 2014. The sample consists of 80% landline and 20% cell phone respondents, with quotas by gender (50/50 split) and by region. The data is weighted in tabulation to replicate actual population distribution by age and gender within region according to the 2011 Census data. This survey is considered accurate to a margin of plus or minus 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.