Canadian consumer confidence fell for a sixth week as pessimism about the nation’s economic outlook deepens, weekly polling by Nanos Research Group show.
The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index fell to 52, the lowest since April 2013, from 52.3. The weekly gauge is a composite index based on survey questions about personal finances, job security, the outlook for the economy and where real estate prices are headed.
The data show households have become increasingly jittery, as a continued slide in oil prices stokes concern further declines in investment and income will weaken the outlook even further. The economy has taken center stage in Canada’s federal election campaign. Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper has acknowledged Canada may have suffered a so-called technical recession in the first half of this year, as he faces attacks from opposition leaders over the economy’s poor performance.
The Bank of Canada seems to have had an out-sized effect on confidence, with the current decline in sentiment starting right after the central bank’s July 15 rate cut.
The share of Canadians who see the economy strengthening over the next six months has fallen to 11.4 percent, a record low, the polling show. That gauge was at above 17 percent before the Bank of Canada’s announcement last month.
The share of Canadians who say their finances have worsened over the past year was 27.9 percent, the highest score since 2013.
The survey, based on phone interviews with 1,000 people, uses a four-week rolling average of 250 respondents. The results are accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.