Market madness has Canadians spooked

Consumer confidence down, yet purchasing inclination holding fast.



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Research firm TNS Canada said its consumer confidence index fell two points this month due to stock market volatility—a significant drop at a time when most Canadians pay little attention to financial issues.

“Canadians have clearly been spooked by last week’s ups and downs in the stock market.” said Norman Baillie-David, vice-president of TNS Canada. “Even in the summer months, when you don’t think people are paying much attention to the news or stock markets, these gyrations (in the markets) are having a significant impact on Canadians’ view of the economy, as well as their own prospects.”

The Present Situation Index, which measures how people feel about the economy right now, dropped a full point, from 100.3 to 99.0, showing that the fear in the markets is having less impact on how Canadians’ feel they are doing right now.

However, the TNS buy index — which gauges Canadians’ attitudes about purchasing “big-ticket items” — is up slightly to 93.7 from 93.3. “This is likely the combination of statistical margin of error, combined with a feeling among some Canadians that they may be better off making that purchase now, before they believe things actually get worse,” Baillie-David said.

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