The FINANCIAL — TORONTO. The latest results from TNS Canada’s Consumer Confidence Index suggest both present and future concerns eased slightly as consumer confidence edged back up after its July tumble.
Overall, the index regained 2.7 points in August, rising to 97.1 from July’s 94.4.
“If last month’s gale-force of negativity continued, it might have sunk Canada’s fledgling economic recovery. Now it seems the sump pumps are out, possibly returning some buoyancy to the economic turnaround,” said Dr. Michael Antecol, vice-president of TNS Canada and director of the marketing research firm’s monthly tracking study. “I suppose the question now is: how good is that pump – can confidence be kept above the surface or is it still destined to hit the rocks?”
"All indices reversed course from last month’s declines. Future-oriented confidence showed moderate increases in the past month. The Expectations Index, which measures consumers’ estimation of the economy, household income and employment in the next six months, reversed a four-month decline, rising 1.6 points from 104.2 to 105.8 in August. Likewise, the Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current period is a good time to make major purchases, bounced back up 5.7 points, ending August at 93.4, TNS Canada reported.
Even the Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall state of the current economic and employment situations, returned to positive territory. It ended the month at 93.3 – 1.2 points up from July’s 92.1.
“With the tide of bad economic news still out there, it appears consumers may be pausing to take stock before they determine their ultimate course, and the fate of the economic recovery. As has been the case since the recession took hold, until there is sustained consumer confidence that is translated into dollars spent, we will continue to be on rough waters,” added Dr. Antecol.
Consumer Confidence Index tracks Canadians’ attitudes about the economy each month and is part of a global study conducted by TNS in 18 countries. Three indices are produced each month to show how confidence in the economy is changing: Present Situation Index; an Expectations Index; and a Buy Index. The Canadian fieldwork is conducted using the firm’s national bi-weekly telephone omnibus service, TNS Express Telephone. A total of 1,015 nationally representative Canadian adults were interviewed between August 2 and 5, 2010. For a survey sample this size, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
TNS Canada (www.tns-cf.com) is one of Canada's most prestigious full-service marketing, opinion and social research organizations.