Canadian Consumer Confidence Climbs on Rebound in Job Security

Canadians’ sense of job security rebounded last week, ending a monthlong string of declines, survey data showed.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index increased to 59.0 for the week ended Aug. 22 from 58.8 the previous week, as a measure of job security rose by the most in more than two months. Sentiment about the national economy and personal finances was little changed, while the outlook for real-estate prices fell to the lowest in more than four months.

Canadian consumer confidence is hovering around its 12-month average amid mixed signals about the strength of the world’s 11th largest economy. The inflation rate slowed for the first time in five months in July, while growth in retail shipments exceeded all economist forecasts in June, Statistics Canada said Aug. 22. The Ottawa-based statistical agency will report economic growth for the second quarter on Aug. 29.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz cut his forecasts for economic expansion last month, predicting the country will take two years to return to full output, in part due to what he called ’’serial disappointment’’ with global growth.

“A look at the overall index suggests that there has been little significant movement,” said Nanos Research Group Chairman Nik Nanos. “Canada’s energy-rich Prairie provinces continue to lead positive consumer sentiment,” he said, referring to a region that includes Alberta and its 4.7 percent jobless rate, and Saskatchewan, where unemployment is just 3.2 percent, less than half the national rate.

The Nanos index is derived from weekly polling based on phone interviews with 1,000 people, using a four-week rolling average of 250 respondents. The results are accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Sub-Index Data

The Nanos index has two sub-indexes. The Pocketbook Index, based on responses about job security as well as personal finances, rose to 60.5 from 60.3 the previous week.

The proportion of people who describe their job as at least somewhat secure climbed to 67.6 percent from 65.7 percent. The 2014 average is 66.7 percent.

Statistics Canada reported Aug. 15 that Canadian employment rose 41,700 in July, correcting the agency’s initial estimate the week before of a gain in 200 positions.

The percentage of those who think their finances were better off in the past year was little changed at 20.2. The gauge has averaged 19.5 this year.

The Expectations Index, based on responses about the national economy and real estate, was little changed at 57.4.

The percentage of those who expect the economy to strengthen over the next six months remained at 17.9. The 2014 average is 21.2.

Those predicting higher real-estate prices over the next six months fell to 40.6, the lowest since April 11. The gauge has averaged 40.5 in 2014.

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