Consumer confidence is up in Canada to start 2012. Today, the index stands at 75.3, compared to 72.6 in November.

* In total, 25% of Canadians believe they will be better off financially a year from now. Conversely, 15% feel they will be worse off a year from now. This split remains relatively unchanged from November when it was 25%-14%.

* Just over one in ten Canadians (13%) sees good times ahead for the economy in the next twelve months. Conversely, 22% see bad times over this same period. Pessimism is down from November, when 30% saw bad times ahead in the short-term.

* Just over four in ten (42%) believe there will be good times financially for the Canadian economy in the next 5 years, while 45% believe there will be unemployment and recession over this period. This represents minimal movement from November when the split was 42%-46%.

* Just over four in ten (43%) believe that now is a good time to make a major purchase. Nationally, 38% believe it is a bad time to make such a purchase. In November, this split was 41%-41%.

* In terms of how people perceive the last year, 16% indicated they were better off financially compared to a year ago, while 24% feel they are worse off.

According to Senior Vice-President Doug Anderson, “While the confidence of Canadian consumers has improved slightly over the past quarter, the remarkable rebound in American consumer confidence has finally brought both countries to an equally optimistic outlook. After years of consistently holding a more optimistic outlook than Canadians, the financial crisis of 2008 saw both confidence in both countries wane, but it affected the American confidence far more dramatically than it affected Canadian confidence. This quarter appears to mark the closure of that downturn.”

“An increase in consumer confidence is good to see,” said Dave Ablett, Director, Advanced Financial Planning at Investors Group. “Canadians appear to have confidence in the Canadian economy and remain well-positioned to plan, save and invest for their future.”