Canadian consumer confidence fell in April because of waning perceptions of job security and personal finances, according to the monthly Nanos Research poll.
The Nanos Economic Mood Index for April fell to 106.1 from 107.8 in March, according to a report released today by the Ottawa-based polling agency.
Canadians are feeling less secure about their jobs, possibly due to widespread media reports of job cuts in the public sector, Nanos said. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty last month announced plans to fire 12,000 workers in a bid to eliminate the government’s deficit.
“Both the widespread news coverage of layoffs in the federal public service and notifications to affected employees have likely created a job-security chill effect,” Nik Nanos, president of the agency, said in an e-mail. “It will be important to monitor this measure in order to understand whether this is a one-off event or part of a new trend.”
Canada’s labor market has slowed over the past six months, with the economy creating just 45,300 jobs since October even after employment rose by 82,300 in March, according to Statistics Canada data.
The job-security balance of opinion, which subtracts the percentage of those who say their employment isn’t safe from those who say the opposite, fell to 39.7 in April, down from 43.9 in March. The Nanos Pocketbook Index, based on questions related to changes in personal finances and job security, fell to 92.5 from 96 in March.
The Expectations Index, based on perceptions of the economic outlook and housing values, rose to 122.7 from 122.2, Nanos said. The balance of opinion on whether the economy will be stronger or weaker in the next six months was 6.6 in April compared with negative 5.3 in March, the survey found, the fourth-straight improvement in that gauge.
The “net perception” of Canadians about whether local real estate prices will rise in the next six months fell to 23.4 in April from 34.5 a month earlier. The figure is calculated by subtracting the percentage of those who say real estate values will fall from those who say they will rise.
The Nanos poll of 1,002 Canadians was taken April 13 and April 14.