Inflation causing skittishness about future economic prospects
Meg Chari, 647.463.2022
December 14, 2011, Markham, ON – As the end of 2011 draws near, Canadians are doubtful about job prospects, their personal finances and whether it’s wise to spend money right now, according to a survey released today by Nielsen, a leading global provider of insights and analytics into what consumers watch and buy.
The Global Consumer Confidence Survey, established in 2005, tracks consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism. Consumer confidence fell globally from 89 to 88, down for the seventh consecutive quarter. “We’ve been on a roller-coaster ride, with a lot of ups and downs and screaming along the way and the ride is not over yet,” said Carman Allison, director of consumer insights, Nielsen. “We’re about to hit another turn.”
Employment is Up – But So is Pessimism
A key component of national confidence is how Canadians perceive the job market. Fifty four percent rated job prospects as good or excellent, better than the global average (43%), but down from 58 percent in Q2 of 2011. Canadians also continue to grow more negative about how they view their personal finances. Globally, 51 percent of respondents felt good or excellent about the state of their finances over the next 12 months. That’s up one percent from the Q2 survey. Yet Canada trends in the opposite direction, with 54 percent of Canadian respondents rating their finances as good or excellent, down from 61 percent just three months earlier. “Canadians may be feeling more optimistic than the global average, amidst some positive economic trends in this country over the past year. Yet a combination of recent factors, such as rising prices of goods, stock market turbulence and bad economic news from the U.S. and Europe, are affecting consumer confidence,” noted Allison.
Discretionary Spending Flat
When asked what they are doing with spare cash, 37 percent of Canadians said they direct spare cash to paying off debts and another 30 percent pour it into savings. “Households are showing increasing fiscal responsibility. Spending is also hampered by this new reality; almost one-quarter of consumers (23%) report that no spending money remains after they’ve paid for the essentials,” Allison said.
About the Nielsen Global Omnibus Survey
The Nielsen Global Omnibus Survey was conducted between August 30 and September 16, 2011 and polled more than 28,000 online consumers in fifty six countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behaviour of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Omnibus Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Survey, was established in 2005.