January 24, 2013 09:00 ET

Cautious Optimism Heading into 2013

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2013) - Canadian Consumer Confidence rose ever so slightly in January. According to the latest consumer confidence survey conducted by TNS, the Canadian Consumer Confidence Index gained a modest half-point since December, inching from 98.6 to 99.1. "Consumer confidence is creeping up a little at a time, month by month, showing that by and large, Canadians are entering 2013 on a cautiously optimistic note," explained Norman Baillie-David, Senior Vice President of TNS in Canada and Director of the Marketing and Social research firm's monthly tracking study.

"With a holiday splurge right behind us, Canadians are showing signs that they want to believe in a rapidly growing economy, but are held back by a number of factors, including the slowing housing market and another bout of debt-wrangling south of the border."

The Present Situation Index, which measures how people feel about the economy right now, is the only sub-index to drop in January, falling from 101.2 to 99.8, reflecting the fact that Canadians' think that everyone else but them is going through post-holiday feelings of "empty wallet syndrome" as we pay for our holiday splurge.

The Expectations Index, which measures people's outlook for the economy six months from now, also saw a modest increase of 0.5 points; another signal of collective optimism that 2013 will be good for the Canadian economy.

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 represents, by far, the best sign of our collective and pragmatic optimism, jumping a full three (3.0) points from 92.1 in December to 95.1 in January.

"Typically we see this Index go down in December and January, as Canadians focus on gift giving and then paying for it, as opposed to making major household purchases. However, the sharp increase in January is a clear signal that Canadians individually feel confident, didn't overspend on the holidays, and are ready to buy now (even though they might think others are not doing so well right now - as shown in the Present Situation Index)," explained Mr. Baillie-David.

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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 January 14 and January 17, 2013. 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.

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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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