18 Jun

Written by Kathryn Vercillo on June 18, 2011

Two years ago, at the beginning of the economic recession, Canadian businesses were doing better than their American counterparts. At this time American consumers were strongly encouraged to reduce their spending and to begin embracing frugal habits. These days, the situation has been reversed. Americans are slowly beginning to spend more money as the recession drags on whereas Canadians are now feeling the economic effects and are beginning to tighten the purse strings.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, some of the money-saving habits that Canadians are currently trending towards include seeking out bargains and buying fewer non-essential items. The actual percentages of shoppers doing these things is comparable between America and Canada. For example, 63% of Canadians and 62% of Americans say that they intended to reduce spending on non-essential items in the next year. However, this is a 6 percent increase in the percentage for Canadians while it is a 19% decrease in the percentage of Americans who felt this way at the start of the downturn.

You might think that all of this suggests that Americans are more optimistic about the economy improving in the near future than Canadians are at this time. You would be incorrect. The research shows that Canadian consumers are generally optimistic about the economy. However Americans have been saving and scrimping for a couple of years now and therefore feel less stressed about the economy because they have adjusted to their feelings about it.

Where do Brits fall in all of this? With one quarter of Brits using up their savings to pay for everyday household bills it is safe to assume that the mood leans more towards that of the Canadians than the Americans. This means that more Brits should be planning on reducing their non-essential item spending in the year to come. Will you be one of them?

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