Canadian consumer confidence was the highest in almost four years last week as sentiment about the job market improved and the real-estate outlook remained strong.
The Bloomberg Nanos Confidence Index climbed to 60.1 in the week ended April 25, the highest since 60.2 in June 2010. The prior week’s figure of 60.0 was the highest since March 2011.
Signs of momentum in the economy last week included gains in retail and wholesale sales while Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said in a speech that many parts of the country’s manufacturing industry have a bright future. On April 30, Statistics Canada may report that the economy grew for a second month in February after winter storms hobbled output.
“Solid labor market gains and improving demand from the U.S. for domestically produced exports have fueled the monthlong spring rebound in Canadian consumer confidence,” said Joseph Brusuelas, senior economist with Bloomberg LP in New York.
Poloz spoke in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan April 24, where he talked about regional differences in the world’s 11th largest economy. High prices for commodities produced in western provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan have fueled faster income gains and shortages of housing and labor, Poloz said. Existing home sales rose at their fastest pace in seven months in March led by transactions in Alberta.
The confidence index for the three prairie provinces was 67.8 last week, compared with 60.9 in Ontario and 56.4 in Quebec.
“There still remains a noticeable difference in consumer sentiment between the Prairies and the rest of Canada,” said Nanos Research Group Chairman Nik Nanos.
The share of respondents who had a positive view of their local housing market was 42.0 last week, close to prior week’s 42.2 that was the highest since March 2012. The share of people who said they were “not at all secure” about their job fell to 5.5 percent, the lowest in records dating from 2008, according to Nanos data.
Bloomberg Nanos’s confidence index has two sub-indexes: the Pocketbook Index, based on survey responses to questions about personal finances and job security, and the Expectations Index, based on responses on the outlook for the economy and real-estate prices. The Pocketbook Index rose last week to 60.2 from 60.0 and the Expectations Index slipped to 59.9 from 60.0.
The Nanos data are based on phone interviews with 1,000 people, using a four-week rolling average of 250 respondents. The results are accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
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