Canadian consumer confidence rose to its highest in eight months in January, as the country’s job market improved.
The Nanos Economic Mood Index -- an aggregate of survey responses on the outlook for the economy, job security, personal finances and real estate -- rose to 103.8 in January from 101.9 a month earlier. The index averaged 101.7 in the last six months of 2012, compared with 105.4 in the first half of last year.
“We are now seeing an improvement in terms of perceptions of job security,” said Nik Nanos, president of the Ottawa-based polling agency, adding cuts to federal payrolls hurt confidence last year.
Canada’s unemployment fell to a four-year low in December of 7.1 percent, adding to evidence the economy probably strengthened at the end of last year after stalling for much of the second half. While output grew 0.3 percent in November, the fastest pace in seven months, data published to date suggest the Canadian economy may have had its worst six-month performance since the end of 2009.
Measures calculating perceptions of job security and personal finances improved in January, according to today’s Nanos poll. The balance of opinion between those who say their jobs are secure and those who believe they are not rose to 34.3 percentage points, up from 30.6 in December and 29.7 in November.
Net perceptions on personal finances improved to negative 10.5 from negative 16.3 in December, while the balance of opinion indicator that gauges optimism about future growth increased to 4.8 percentage points, the highest since April. The measure calculating optimism about real estate values fell to 16.7 in January from 20.6 in the prior month.