Canadian warm to economic prospects

TORONTO — Canadians are warming to signs of improvement in the economy, according to the latest survey by international business consultancy TNS.

TORONTO — Canadians are warming to signs of improvement in the economy, according to the latest survey by international business consultancy TNS.

TNS said Thursday that its overall consumer confidence index jumped more than three points to 98.8 in May from 95.4 in April.

“It seems that Canadians have woken up about the economy and are liking what they see,” said Norman Baillie-David, vice-president of TNS in Canada and director of the marketing and social research firm’s monthly tracking study.

“Since the beginning of the year, confidence has been flat, or just waffling up and down as Canadians didn’t seem to be preoccupied with economic concerns,” Baillie-David added.

“This most recent and significant jump bodes well for the summer months.”

The consumer confidence index tracks Canadians’ attitudes about the economy each month and is part of a global study conducted by TNS in 18 countries.

In the latest survey, a total of 1,027 nationally representative Canadian adults were interviewed between May 14 and May 17. Pollsters say a survey of this size is accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

Meanwhile, the TNS present situation index, which measures how people feel about the economy right now, also rose significantly, climbing five points from 94.0 in April to 99.2 in May and is the highest it’s been since July 2011.

And its expectations index, which measures people’s outlook for the economy six months from now, was up four points to 102.7.

The buy index, which measures the extent to which Canadians’ feel whether now is a good time to purchase a big ticket item such as a car or a major household appliance, rose only slightly to 94.2 from 93.6.

“Canadians won’t be rushing in droves to retail outlets just yet, but our numbers definitely show signs of cautious optimism and, hopefully, the beginning of a trend,” Baillie-David said.

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