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vide acualités
Tuesday 27 March 2012
 
filet noir

Job anxiety and personal finance are top of mind for Canadian and American consumers

Consumer confidence remains stable on both sides of the border, with 26 per cent of Americans - the highest level in over a year - and 28 per cent of Canadians believing their economies will improve next year, according to the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook (RBC CCO) and RBC U.S. Consumer Outlook Index (RBC COI).

Canadian and American residents also have similar concerns about their personal financial situation. American consumers' outlook on improvements in their personal financial situation for the next year fell to 26 per cent (down five percentage points from February). In Canada, slightly more than one-third (34 per cent) believe their personal financial situation will change for the better in the year ahead, (down two percentage points from January).

"With both economies showing signs of a recovery, consumers need to continue to focus on managing their money and developing a financial plan that includes saving and investing," said Jason Round, head, Financial Planning Support, RBC Financial Planning. "Sitting down with a financial planner to discuss your options is a good first step to putting a plan in place to be prepared for unforeseen problems or changes. Having an emergency fund and putting a manageable amount of money aside each pay period can really make a difference."

Employment remains a concern for both Canadians and Americans. Although worries are greater south of the border, this is improving, as 26 per cent of Americans (down six percentage points from last month) expressed concerns about job loss. Thirty-four per cent reported that someone in their family or a personal friend had lost their job due to economic conditions, the lowest level in over a year and down from 42 per cent last month. In February, Canadian job anxiety, while lower than U.S. levels, was 21 per cent nationally (unchanged from the month before).

RBC Economics forecasts that Canada's GDP will increase by 2.6 per cent in 2012, while U.S. GDP is forecast to expand by 2.5 per cent, bolstered by the rise in auto sales and growth in consumer spending.

"There is no doubt that recession has weighed on consumer sentiment on both sides of the border; however, there are burgeoning signs that the Canadian and U.S. economies are treading on a brighter path," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "A more robust year of broad-based growth is materializing in the U.S., which bodes well for economic growth in Canada. Our domestic economy will also be buoyed by the sustained low interest rate environment, solid balance sheets across corporate Canada, as well as elevated commodity prices in the year ahead."


(source : RBC)