• Polling shows broad consumer confidence index little changed
  • Share of those who see economy improving rises for 3rd week

The share of Canadians pessimistic about the country’s economic outlook has reached a 2016 low, driven by steady growth in optimism among the youngest adults, telephone polling shows.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index was little changed at 58.3 last week, from 58.4 previously. Optimism for the economy’s performance over the next six months improved, as the share of respondents expecting weaker growth fell to 24.8 percent, the lowest since November.

The polling, nearly all of which took place before the Brexit vote that sparked turmoil in markets Friday, is the latest sign of recovery in the Canadian economy. The broad consumer confidence index has risen steadily since the start of the year.

It’s been the youngest Canadians driving optimism in recent weeks. The measure of confidence among those aged 18 to 29 rose to 62, from 61.5 a week earlier, and is up from 53 in April. The index is the highest among that age group, and lowest among those 50 to 59, as signs of trouble for Canada’s economy persist.

“This latest global shock finds the Canadian economy in a difficult transition and Canadian household balance sheets far more stretched than in previous episodes,” Bloomberg economist Robert Lawrie said.

Regional Breakdown

After increasing across Canada last week, consumer confidence fell in all but one region -- British Columbia, where it rose to 66.6 from 65.1 a week earlier. The westernmost province is forecast to lead, along with Ontario, Canadian growth this year, a Bloomberg survey of economists shows.

The share of respondents who said their job was secure or somewhat secure fell to 68.7 percent, from 69.2 percent a week earlier, though the gauge is still above its 2016 average. Sentiment on housing remained little changed, with the ratio of those predicting price increases versus decreases holding at about three to one.

On personal finances, 26.8 percent of respondents say they’re worse off than a year earlier, up from 26.5 a week earlier, while 14.1 percent said they’re better off, down from 14.5.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index is based on a rolling average of telephone polling of 1,000 respondents spread over four weeks. It’s considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, with larger margins of error for regional and age subsets. The latest round of polling finished on June 24.

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