Consumer Confidence Survey For 2013 Showing Mixed Results

Canadians overall have mixed feelings about how 2013 will shape up economically. The Investors Group, Harris Decima just figured the consumer confidence index. It came in at 77.6 percent for the year’s first quarter. That’s higher than the 75.3 percent seen at the end of March of last year, but a bit lower than November’s 79.0 percent. During the last 12 months, Canada’s consumer confidence hasn’t wavered all that much. Each quarter has changed by an average of two points.

Financial Trends

The report showed that some 25 percent of Canadians think they will be in a better financial position than currently. At the same time 13 percent thought things would not be as sound. The numbers for 2012’s last quarter were 24 percent and 12 percent respectively.  Canadians living in the Prairie Provinces, particularly those between 25 and 44 and male, were more apt to have a positive view of their financial position a year from now.

Only one of ten Canadians, roughly 13 percent, thought that the Canadian economy would improve this next year. Nearly 20 percent expect the economy to be worse. Those figures are the same as those seen in November. Canadians living in Alberta and those who were under 25 were the most optimistic.

Some 43 percent think that during the upcoming five years Canada will experience a good economy. Then again 41 percent believe the country will see a recession or higher unemployment numbers. In November of 2012 those numbers were 47 percent and 38 percent, respectively. Urban dwellers, particularly men and those in Prairie Provinces, as well as those earning more than $80,000 per year were the most optimistic about that time year period.

Purchasing Power, Personal Finances

As far as major purchases, some 44 percent think it’s a good idea to buy, while 38 percent prefer to wait. Again, November’s numbers were 47 percent and 38 percent, respectively. Of those living in Quebec 50 percent thought making a purchase was a wise move, as did 55 percent of those living in either Saskatchewan or Manitoba.

When asked about their finances compared to 2012, some 17 percent of responders believed they were better off this year and 19 percent thought their finances were not as robust. November 2012’s numbers were 18 percent and 22 percent. Those living in Alberta had the highest percentage in the better off category, at 23 percent. Respondents under 45 and those earning more than $100,000 per year had that same figure.

Allan Gregg, chairman of the Investments Group, noted that most surveyed were more optimistic about the financial state during the mid term. They were not as confident about the short term viability. The lack of movement in the numbers from quarter to quarter suggest than most Canadians believe their financial situation is pretty much stagnant.

But there is a proverbial light at the end of that tunnel, albeit a low watt one. More Canadians do think they are better off financially than they were in November of 2012.

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