Consumer Confidence Plunges in February
February 21, 2013 | Chris Powell | Comments
It’s a quartet of disquiet. Following prior bad news about employment, the housing market and the Canadian dollar, the latest Canadian Consumer Confidence Index from marketing and social research firm TNS shows that Canadian consumer confidence fell sharply in February.
The index fell from 99.1 to 95.5 – its lowest level since August. Norman Baillie-David, senior vice-president of TNS in Canada and director of the firm’s monthly tracking study, said a number of factors contributed to consumers’ gloomy outlook.
“Canadians are feeling the effects of a number of adverse economic developments coming together at the same time,” he said in a release. “Employment is down, the housing market has ‘cooled off’ with fewer home sales, and Canadians continue to be wary of high debt.
“Any one of these can be cause for concern, but with fewer Canadians working, fewer buying or selling houses, and more holding off on incurring debt to make major purchases, it’s conspiring for quite the gloomy outlook. In summary, Canadians aren’t happy campers about the economy this month.”
The TNS Present Situation Index, which assesses how Canadians feel about the economy right now, fell almost six points, from 99.8 to 93.9. In comparison, the Expectations Index, which measures consumers’ feelings about the economy six months from now, remained fairly stable, dropping only 0.3 points.
Baillie-David said that this suggests Canadians are taking a “wait and see” to their future expectations.
The TNS Buy Index, which measures the extent to which Canadians feel that now is a good time to purchase a big ticket item such as a car or a major household appliance, dropped 3.6% – its largest single month drop in two years – to its lowest point since October 2010.
The monthly Consumer Confidence Index study is part of a global study conducted by TNS in 18 countries. The results are based on telephone interviews with 1,015 nationally representative Canadian adults conducted between Feb. 11 and Feb. 14, and are considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.