Consumer Confidence Survey Results Beating the Odds

By: Daniel Rattanamahattana on September 27, 2012

With so much economic gloom and doom about household debt and the threat of rising interest rates in the news each day it’s hard to imagine consumers’ personal finances to be showing any signs of confidence. But a new survey from the Conference Board of Canada suggests consumer confidence is moving in a good direction and hopeful to continue improving over the coming months; perhaps the warnings in the media have shined a bit of light in the gloomy dark and contributed to improving financial situations.

After a weak showing in August the Conference Board says September’s consumer confidence index increased to 82.2 basis points, a number they say reflects the highest level of confidence towards improving financial conditions in Canada since July 2011. The survey was completed near the beginning of September based on 2,000 telephone interviews of Canadians nationwide.

Respondents were asked about their current financial situations and whether they have improved over the last six months. In the results it showed 18.4 percent of consumers said their situations had improved, a result two percentage points up from August. Even better news, the number of people who say their situations had gotten worse was on the decline for September down 3.7 percentage points to a low of 17.6 percent of all respondents. The Conference Board was happy to conclude more positive news than negative news; although they cautioned since this was only the second time in two years results were skewed more positively, it could just be a blip but they are hopeful for a growing trend.

Looking to the future, 25.2 percent of Canadians remain optimistic their finances will improve over the next six months while only 15.6 percent expect things to get worse. At a time when interest rates have been signaled to rise sometime in the coming future, it’s definitely for the best that household finances are improving before the changes are implemented; and that Canadians more so than not have confidence conditions will continue to improve into next year.