Canada continues to show a steady increase in consumer confidence, with its index rising to 94, up four points since July and 10 points since April, according to The Nielsen Company. Overall, global consumer confidence rose to 86 index points – up five points since July and almost back to the same level before the worst of the financial crisis hit global markets (click here for details on the global survey). Canada was tied for 15th in consumer confidence of the 54 countries surveyed.
Overall, Canadians were more confident than their neighbors to the south, with more positive outlooks regarding job prospects, the state of their personal finances and their willingness to spend. With respect to jobs, 46 percent of Canadians say that local prospects will be “good” or “excellent” over the next 12 months, compared to just 28 percent in the U.S. More than half (55%) feel that the state of their personal finances will be “good” or “excellent,” up three points since July and compared to 51 percent of Americans who said the same. More than two-fifths of Canadians feel it is a good time to buy the things they want and need, compared to 33 percent of Americans. All of that said, a strong majority (82%) of Canadians feel that the country is still in a recession, despite the fact that the Bank of Canada announced that the recession was over. Nine in ten Americans said that they felt their country was still in a recession.
In a sign that the consumer’s obsession with all things economic and recession is starting to recede, Canadians are once again showing concern with other issues such as work-life balance and health. But despite these positive signs, Canadians remain cautious about spending. Paying off debt is the top use for spare cash (with 39% saying that is their priority) followed by socking away money into savings (26%). When they are spending, holidays and vacations is the top category (26%) with out-of-home entertainment (23%) and home improvements (20%) rounding out the top three. Canadian men indicated that they are more likely to spend on outside entertainment and new technology, while responsible Canadian women are focused on paying off debt.
Read the full report.