December 20, 2012 09:00 ET

Canadian Consumer Confidence Holds Steady: Canadians' Holiday Spending Plans Same as Last Year

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 20, 2012) - Canadian Consumer Confidence is remaining steady in December compared to last month. According to the latest consumer confidence survey conducted by TNS, the Canadian Consumer Confidence Index lost only 0.3 points, moving from 98.9 to 98.6, which is not enough to represent a statistically significant change.

"Consumer confidence is holding steady and the confidence which has been building since the summer is remaining stable," explained Norman Baillie-David, Senior Vice President of TNS in Canada and Director of the Marketing and Social research firm's monthly tracking study. "Despite the uncertainty, Canadians continue to feel confident that the economic situation is basically under control."

The Present Situation Index, which measures how people feel about the economy right now, also remained virtually unchanged rising only one-tenth of one percent (which doesn't represent a significant change) from 101.1 to 101.2.

The Expectations Index, which measures people's outlook for the economy six months from now, saw a slight drop of 0.6 points, moving from 102.2 to 101.6, which is still more than 2 points higher than October's measure, and it is still showing a rising trend which began in early summer.

"Notwithstanding the slight drop this month, Canadians are showing an increasing optimism that they will be better off economically six months from now than they are today. This should translate well into holiday retail spending, as well as into 2013," said Mr. Baillie-David.

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 or a major household appliance showed another slight, but expected, drop as Canadians typically will be putting aside car and major appliance purchases in favour of holiday spending (see next page). The Buy Index dropped 0.7 points, from 92.8 to 92.1, which tends to be typical for the months of November and December.

Holiday Spending Intentions

On average, Canadians state they intend to spend roughly $960 (+/- $90.00) on holiday items, which is actually not different than the two years prior when taking the margin of error into account. It is noteworthy that the percentage of Canadians' spending in each bracket has not changed significantly. The percentage of Canadians indicating they will be spending the same as last year also increased by eight points, from 55% to 63%.

"Retailers should see a reasonably good holiday shopping season in 2012," indicated Mr. Baillie-David. "With overall consumer confidence higher this year, more than three in four Canadians say they will spend as much or more than last year."

Full report along with charts available at:

Consumer Confidence Index tracks Canadians' attitudes about the economy each month and is part of a global study conducted by TNS in 18 countries. Three indices are produced each month to show how confidence in the economy is changing: Present Situation Index; an Expectations Index; and a Buy Index.

The Canadian fieldwork is conducted using the firm's national bi-weekly telephone omnibus service, TNS Express Telephone. A total of 1,015 nationally representative Canadian adults were interviewed between December 10 and December 13, 2012. For a survey sample of this size, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About TNS and Kantar

TNS ( is the Canadian arm of TNS Global. TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world's consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups.

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Kantar is one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By uniting the diverse talents of its 13 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 28,500 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.

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