After a steady increase in reported optimism among Canadians over the past year, economic expectations have flattened out. Exactly 50 per cent of Canadians are feeling worse off than they did one year ago during the recession, according to economic findings released today by Bensimon Byrne’s Consumerology Report.

“Reality, not hope, is what drives consumer spending,” said Jack Bensimon, President of Bensimon Byrne. “With half of Canadians not feeling any personal recovery and a stubborn one third who are saying they still feel they are in a recession, we can expect consumer spending to remain constrained.”

“Despite wide reports of optimism in the economy, there is much unrest in Canadian households,” said Bensimon. “While a strong majority of 79 per cent believe that in one year, the economy will be stronger than it is today, there are clearly large numbers of Canadians who are expressing insecurity in their financial well-being and a lack of confidence in the economy.”

The Consumerology Report, commissioned by Toronto-based advertising agency Bensimon Byrne and conducted by the Gandalf Group, tracks consumer opinions about the economy, their personal financial expectations, consumer buying intention, and attitudes toward key national issues. Now in its third year, the study provides, to date, one of the most comprehensive profiles of the recession.

This current Economic Trends and Consumer Behaviour Mini-Report is a prelude to the next full Consumerology Report on Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Marketing to be released later this quarter.