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Canadians worried about the future of the economy, TNS index suggests PDF Print E-mail
Written by HGO Staff   
TORONTO (21 May 2010) - Canadians are becoming more concerned about the future direction of this country's economy even though they remain content with the here-and-now, according to the latest results from TNS Canadian Facts' Consumer Confidence Index. The overall index fell below the 100-point mark after finally passing it last month for the first time in two years. It ended the month at 98.7, down from the 100.5 recorded in April.

"It feels like the acceleration and deceleration you get from ABS brakes," Dr. Michael Antecol, TNS Canadian Facts vice president and director of the monthly tracking study, said in a statement.

"Canadians seems to be lurching forward and back based on the news they're getting - last month the news was positive, this month it's negative. It seems that we can expect this bumpy ride to continue along with the uneven economic news landscape."

The Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall state of the current economic and employment situations, stayed steady at 93.6. It was up just 0.3 points after April's strong 4.4-point jump.

But future-oriented confidence fell. The Expectations Index, which measures consumers' estimation of the economy, household income and employment in the next six months, dropped for the second consecutive month. It declined 1.8 points from April's close of 109.7, which itself was off 2.2 points from March's historic high. The index now stands at 107.9.

Likewise, the Buy Index, which gauges the degree to which people think the current period is a good time to make major purchases, compounded the slight declines recorded in both March and April with a 4.5-point drop this month to settle at 96.4, putting it below 100 for the first time since last November.

"While the media may not tell people what to think, they do tell people what to think about. After a period of some solidly good economic news, the airwaves and broadsheets have been full of stories recently about the unfolding debt crisis in Greece, the big stock market drop, and growing fears about interest rate increases. Not surprisingly, today's economy seems pretty good to Canadians. It's what is lurking around the corner that - at least for the moment - is making them feel super jumpy," Antecol observed.

The Canadian survey is part of a global study conducted by TNS in 18 countries.

The Toronto-based research firm interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,105 adults by telephone between 10 and 13 May 2010. For a sample this size, the company said the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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