An index based on a monthly national survey of consumer attitudes on the state of savings, local economies, personal financial situations and confidence to make significant investments, which covers both now and in the future. The RBC CASH Index was assigned a value in its base year (2002) of 100. The index is released at the end of the first full week of every month.
Because consumer attitudes and confidence has a direct effect on the amount consumers spend and save, this data can be a valuable tool for predicting trends in the financial markets. Equity markets prefer high consumer spending and investment, while bond markets prefer moderate growth to stem inflation.
Because consumer spending accounts for such a large portion of GDP (i.e. around 60% in 2008), the financial markets like to know how consumers feel and will feel about situations today and in the future.