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Posted November 23, 2012

Consumer Confidence

Canadian Consumer Confidence Rising - Holiday Spending Intentions Up Sharply

TORONTO - Canadian Consumer Confidence bounced back to its highest point since July 2011, and this, despite the Government's gloomy economic outlook which was announced during the same period as when the poll was taken.

According to the latest consumer confidence survey conducted by TNS, the Canadian Consumer Confidence Index rose from 98.0 to 98.9. "It looks as though Canadians are happier about the Obama win and not thinking about either the looming fiscal cliff in the U.S. or the Government's economic statement." explained Norman Baillie-David, Senior Vice President of TNS in Canada and Director of the Marketing and Social research firm's monthly tracking study.

"Despite the uncertainty Canadians feel confident that the economic situation is basically under control."

The Present Situation Index, which measures how people feel about the economy right now, also rose significantly from 99.6 to 101.1, and is now at its highest point since November 2008. "This is a clear indicator that Canadians are translating the Obama win (which a high percentage of Canadians favoured) into feeling good about the economy." continued Mr. Baillie-David.

The Expectations Index, which measures people's outlook for the economy six months from now, saw the greatest increase, rising from 99.4 almost three full points to 102.2, continuing what appears to be a trend which began in early summer.

"Canadians this month have shown that they are becoming increasingly optimistic about the economy, both right now and six months from now. This bodes very well as we head into the holiday shopping season and into 2013". said Mr. Baillie-David.

The 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 somewhat expectedly this month, as Canadians' will be putting aside car and major appliance purchases in favour of holiday spending (see next page). The Buy Index dropped 1.7 points, 94.5 to 92.8, which tends to be typical for the months of November and December.

Holiday Spending Intentions

Canadians' confidence and optimism is extending into their holiday shopping plans. On average, Canadians intend to spend $865, which is almost $100 dollars more than last year, and is the highest since 2009. The percentage of Canadians indicating they will be spending more than last year has risen every year since 2009, and is now almost double (from 8% to 15%); and, the corresponding number who claim they will be spending less has gone down from 2008 high of 32% to only 23% this year. "Retailers should see a good year in 2012." indicated Mr. Baillie-David. "Consumers are feeling better about the economy than they have for some time, and they are going into the holidays clearly in a spending mood."

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