Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

May 30, 2009 06:01 ET

Canadians Rebound from Economic Recession Funk: Highest Level of Eco

All Consumer Confidence Cylinders Firing; Job Anxiety Declines

Attention: Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ON--(Marketwire - May 30, 2009) - Toronto, ON - Canadians' views on the economy have become more positive and the outlook for the future is more optimistic than at any point in the last two decades, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Canwest News Service and Global Television.

A majority (52%) believe that in the next year or so the Canadian economy will 'improve', and just two in ten (19%) believe it will worsen, representing a net score of +33 (up 16 points). Three in ten (28%) suggest it will stay the same as it is now.

In fact, in 18 years that these data have been tracked, Canadians have never been so optimistic for the future of the economy as they are now. (figure 1)

Further, after a steady rise in anxiety since November of 2008, the proportion of Canadians whose family is experiencing job anxiety has decreased: one quarter (24%) of Canadians say that they or someone in their household is worried about losing their job, down 3 points from two months ago (27%). (figure 2)

Ipsos Reid has been tracking key Canadian consumer economic confidence indicators since 1991. This sounding was done just days before the revelation by Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty that the Federal deficit has accelerated faster than projected and is now sitting at $50 Billion on the year. It remains to be seen whether awareness of this will dampen enthusiasm; however, previous economic confidence data gathered over the past 20 years by Ipsos Reid suggests that as the deficit does not have an immediate and direct impact or consequence on the personal financial situation of Canadians, it may be a while before this issue is internalized.

But just over this past weekend, a majority (53%) of Canadians believe that the overall state of the Canadian economy is 'good' (2% very good/51% good), up 12 points from its low point just two months ago. (figure 3)

It also appears that most Canadians believe the worst of the economic turbulence is behind us and as a result optimism is flying high.

Thinking about their own economic situation, one in three (35%) believe their situation will improve over the next year while just one in ten (11%) thinks it will worsen, resulting in a net score of +24 (up 9 points). A majority (54%) is of the opinion that their own situation will not change over the course of the next year. (figure 4)

But until this optimism turns into tangible signs of economic improvement, many Canadians continue to remain cautious about spending on big-ticket items. While two in ten (21%) say they'll spend more than last year on major purchases such as a car, major appliances or vacations, four in ten (36%) indicate that they will spend less on these items than they did last year (net -15, up from -18). Four in ten (42%) say they'll maintain their levels of spending on major purchases. (figure 5)

With respect to day to day spending on things like groceries, clothing or other personal goods, most (54%) Canadians are content to maintain the same amount of spending as last year. However one quarter (24%) expect to increase their spending on day to day items, and a similar proportion (22%) expect to spend less (net +2, up from -8). (figure 6)

Regional highlights include:

Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (60%) are the most likely to believe the economy will improve in the next year or so, followed by those living in Alberta (59%), British Columbia (56%), Ontario (52%), Atlantic Canada (48%) and Quebec (46%).
Those living in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (60%) and British Columbia (60%) are most inclined to say that the state of the Canadian economy is currently 'good', while Albertans (58%), Quebecers (58%), Atlantic Canadians (51%) and Ontarians (45%) are less likely.
Families in British Columbia (29%) and Ontario (27%) are most likely to be worried that someone in their household might lose their job, while those in Alberta (24%), Quebec (23%), Atlantic Canada (21%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (5%) are less likely.
Ontarians (39%) have the highest propensity to believe that their own family's economic situation will improve over the next year or so, followed by those living in British Columbia (37%), Alberta (35%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (33%), Atlantic Canada (31%) and Quebec (28%).
With respect to major purchases, Atlantic Canadians (26%) and Albertans are most likely to say that they will loosen their purse strings and spend more on these items than last year, while those in Quebec (22%), Ontario (21%), British Columbia (19%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (15%) are more reserved.
Focusing on day-to-day spending, Atlantic Canadians (35%) are the most likely to say that they'll spend more than last year on these items, while residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (28%), Quebec (25%), Ontario (23%), Alberta (22%) and British Columbia (17%) are not as inclined to increase their spending in this area.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Canwest News Service and Global Television from May 20 to 24, 2009. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1,000 adult Canadians was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of Canada been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid
Public Affairs
(416) 324-2002
john.wright@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

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