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TNS: confidence jumps in May

 27 May 2012      

TORONTO (24 May 2012) - Consumer confidence took what TNS Canada described as an "encouraging" jump in May. All three indices in its Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rose, including the all-important Buy Index, which may signal that Canadians are feeling better about the economy as spring evolves into summer.

The marketing and social research firm reported at its CCI rose three points in May, reaching 98.8 - up from the 95.4 posted in April.

"It seems that Canadians have woken up about the economy and are liking what they see," TNS vice president Norman Bailllie-David said in a statement.

"Since the beginning of the year, confidence has been flat or just waffling up and down as Canadians didn't seem to be preoccupied with economic concerns. This most recent and significant jump bodes well for the summer months," he added.

Baillie-David is also director of the monthly tracking survey. This month, a total of 1,027 nationally representative Canadian adults were interviewed by telephone between May 14 and 17, 2012. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

The Present Situation Index, which measures how people feel about the economy right now, also rose significantly in May, climbing five points from 94.0 in April to 99.2 in May - the highest it's been since July of last year: "Canadians are feeling better about money issues today, in fact, better than they have for almost a year," Baillie-David opined.

The Buy Index for May 201
The Buy Index for May 2012, courtesy of TNS Canada.
The Expectations Index, which measures people's outlook for the economy six months from now also jumped, rising more almost four points from 99.0 to 102.7, passing the all-important "100" mark.

Noting this means that the index ticked higher than the long term average, Baille-David said "Canadians are starting to feel bullish about the economy now and in the near future."

The Buy Index - which measures the extent to which Canadians' feel that now is a good time to purchase a "big ticket item" such as a car, a major appliance or furniture - followed the trend, albeit somewhat more modestly, rising from 93.6 in April to 94.2 this month.

Baille-David believes the Buy Index is perhaps the most important of the sub-indices, because if people feel now is a good time to buy, they may act on it, which will provide the real economic stimulus. However, he did temper his enthusiasm for the gain.

"Canadians won't be rushing in droves to retail outlets just yet, but our numbers definitely show signs of cautious optimism, and hopefully the beginning of a trend," he said.

The CCI is part of a global study TNS conducts in 18 countries.

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