In yesterday’s blog, we discussed a recent Statistics Canada report that indicates that Canadians are seemingly digging themselves further into debt. Considering that Canada is regarded as a world leader in overcoming the economic downturn, it is surprising that Canucks aren’t considered to be among the world’s best budgeters.
Perhaps then, it only makes sense that a new Harris/Decima-Investors Group poll has determined that Canadian consumer confidence is steadily growing. Can these two reports be seen as contradicting findings? Or does consumer confidence indicate an inability to properly read the economic signs that suggest saving your money?
According to the group’s vice-president, Doug Anderson, it’s apparently a mix of both. “As the year wraps up, Canadians remain cautious but confident,” he told QMI Agency. We suppose this means that Canadians aren’t predisposed to frivolous spending, even if they may be spending more than they can afford.
Ask those who were polled, however, and it is likely they will tell you that they can afford their spending just fine. Writes QMI in their report about this issue: “The number of Canadians indicating they are better off financially now than they were a year ago improved at 16%, compared to 15% last quarter. The number of people who said they are worse off also improved to 23%, compared to 24% last quarter.”
In addition, 27% of respondents believe that their financial futures are bright. This is a small increase from 26% of those polled in the last survey, which was done in August. The study also found that 20% of Canadians believe that the economy is still improving. This number has remained steady since the last poll.
Only 14% feel that the economy will worsen which is an improvement from the 16% who felt that more financial hardship was ahead the last time they were surveyed. 50% (up from 49%) of respondents feel that it is a good time to make a major purchase while 35% (down from 36%) do not.
According to Jack Courtney, who is the assistant vice-president of advanced financial planning at Investors Group: “Canadians appear to have acknowledged that the economic situation and their personal financial lives have become a little more stable.”