Canadian consumer confidence ended the year on the upswing. In November, the index stood at 84.4 in Canada, up from the 81.2 recorded in the third quarter, and the 79.0 recorded a year ago. Much of the growth in confidence over the last quarter can be attributed to more positive feelings about the immediate and near-term.
According to Chairman Allan Gregg; "There is no question that the financial meltdown had a significant psychological impact on consumer confidence and sentiment. Like the real economy however, we are now starting to see a slow but steady upturn in both the general population's sense of financial well-being and outlook - in fact the further Canadians look into the future, the more positive they become, suggesting that after almost 5 years consumers are starting to shake off the shock of 2008-9."
“The steady growth of Canadian consumers’ confidence is encouraging,” said Gaetan Ruest, Vice President, Product and Corporate Research at Investors Group. “It is also worth noting that the increase appears to have occurred in more than one aspect of consumer confidence, suggesting that confidence is continuing to grow and spread.”
One in five (21%) say they are better off financially compared to a year ago, while 18% feel they are worse off. In August, this split was 17%-18%, while a year ago it was 18%-22%. Residents of Ontario and Alberta are more likely than those in Quebec and British Columbia to feel better off financially compared to a year ago.
Almost three-in-ten (28%) feel they will be better off financially a year from now. Conversely, 10% feel they will be worse off. In August, this split was 21%-12%, while a year ago it was 24%-13%. Residents of Alberta and Ontario are once again the most optimistic, with 34% and 28%, respectively, saying they expect to be better off financially a year from now.
Opinion is split on what the next twelve months will bring to the Canadian economy. Overall, 17% feel the next twelve months will bring good times to the economy, while 15% feel the next twelve months will bring bad times. However, this does represent a more positive compared to the last quarter when 13% saw good times ahead, and 15% saw bad times. A year ago, this split was 13%-20%.
Half (50%) feel that over the next five years it is more likely Canada as a whole will have continuous periods of good times, while 35% feel this time period will bring widespread unemployment and recession. In August, this split was 48%-37%, while a year ago it was 47%-38%. Residents of the Prairies are the most optimistic that the next five years will bring continuous periods of good times.
Half of those surveyed (50%) feel now is a good time to make a major purchase, while 31% feel it is a bad time to make such a purchase. In August, this split was 49%-31%, while a year ago it was 46%-35%.
Data was collected using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) via the Harris/Decima teleVox omnibus. Overall, 2,018 completes were collected nationally between November 21 and December 1, 2013. The sample consists of 80% landline and 20% cell phone respondents, with quotas by gender (50/50 split) and by region. The data is weighted in tabulation to replicate actual population distribution by age and gender within region according to the 2011 Census data. This survey is considered accurate to a margin of plus or minus 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.