Canadian consumer confidence rebounded to near the highest levels in two months ahead of an interest-rate decision and monetary policy report by the Bank of Canada.
The weekly Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index advanced to 55.4, after falling to 55. The index has been trending higher since the end of February on an improving outlook for the economy and real estate prices.
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz on Wednesday will release the central bank’s quarterly economic projections in a a report that will help set the tone for consumer sentiment as the country copes with lower oil prices. Poloz’s decision in January to cut interest rates and warn of plunging incomes prompted a drop in consumer confidence levels to the lowest in almost two years.
Consumer confidence has since rebounded amid evidence the economy isn’t faring as badly as policymakers feared.
Every week, Nanos Research asks Canadians for their views on personal finances, job security, the outlook for the economy and where real estate prices are headed. This is what the survey data, which is compiled for Bloomberg News, captured for the week through April 10:
*The share of Canadians predicting a weaker economy over the next six months fell to 34.3 percent last week, the lowest level since mid-January. While those predicting the economy will strengthen also fell last week to 16.6 percent, from 17.7 percent a week earlier, the gauge remains above its average over the past two months.
*Sentiment toward real estate also remains above lows recorded earlier this year, though below 12-month averages. The share of Canadians predicting higher real estate prices rose to 36.9 percent last week, the highest level since December. Those predicting lower prices also gained to 18.5 percent, the highest in five weeks. The difference between optimists and pessimists, at 18.4 percent, was the second-highest weekly reading this year.
*Some Canadians reported more confidence in their job security last week, with those calling their employment at least somewhat secure rose to 69.4 percent, rebounding from a reading of 68.9 percent the week before that was the lowest since January.
*Sentiment in the Prairie provinces, which has been held back back by the damage from the drop in exported crude oil prices, continues to rebound from lows recorded in February. The index reading of 52.4 last week for the Prairie region was the highest since January. Still, it’s well below the 64.6 recorded a year earlier.