Remarkable Consistency Marks Consumer Confidence in 2012
Canadian consumer confidence was remarkably consistent in 2012. After beginning the year at 75.3 in the first quarter, confidence edged up to 79.0 in May. The following waves in August and November saw Canadian consumer confidence hold steady at 79.1, and 79.0, respectively.
According to Senior Vice-President Doug Anderson, “On the whole, Canadians consumers displayed remarkably consistent levels of confidence in 2012, but there are some regions where confidence has been more volatile than others. While Quebec and B.C. have seen some recent erosion, Atlantic numbers have jumped and Ontario’s have seen a modest improvement.”
“Canadians appear to have adopted a steady-as-she-goes approach to their economic circumstances in the near and mid-term,” said Jack Courtney, Vice-President, High Net Worth Planning at Investors Group. “Viewing economic events in the proper perspective is very important when it comes to personal financial planning, saving and investing.”
Interestingly, as the year came to an end, consumer confidence in Atlantic Canada was virtually identical to that of Canada, overall. After beginning the year at 73.9, consumer confidence fell to 70.4 in the second quarter. Confidence would rise slightly to 71.4 in August, before jumping to 78.5 in November.
By the final quarter, consumer confidence in Quebec had dipped slightly below the national number. In the first quarter, consumer confidence stood at 76.8 in Quebec, jumping to 80.5 in the second quarter, and 82.5 in the third quarter. Consumer confidence in the province would fall in final quarter to 76.9.
Consumer confidence in the province of Ontario trended below the national average in 2012, beginning the year at 71.4. The index would jump to 75.9 in the 2nd quarter, staying relatively consistent through the 3rd quarter (75.3), before edging up to 77.3 in the final wave of 2012.
Consumer confidence was strong throughout the year in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Here, the index stood at 85.8 in the first quarter of 2012. The index would fall to 80.5 in the 2nd quarter, before jumping back up to 86.8 in the 3rd quarter. Consumer confidence in this region would end up at 87.0 in the final wave of the year.
The index stood at 83.6 in the first quarter of 2012 in the province of Alberta. The index would jump sharply – to 93.2 in the 2nd quarter, before dropping to 88.1 in the 3rd quarter of the year. Consumer confidence would end the year at 88.9 in the province.
Consumer confidence remained relatively consistent in British Columbia this year. The index stood at 75.1 in the first quarter, edging up to 76.3 in the 2nd quarter. The index would continue to move up to 78.4 in the 3rd quarter, before dropping slightly to 76.0 to end the year.
Consumer confidence data is collected on a quarterly basis through teleVox, Harris/Decima’s national telephone omnibus. Surveys were conducted in February, May, August and November. Each wave had a sample size of just over 2,000 completes. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 2.2% 19 times out of 20.