• Bloomberg-Nanos index posts fifth consecutive weekly gain
  • Optimists outnumber pessimists by widest margin since November

Consumer sentiment rose for a fifth week with Canadians becoming more optimistic about the economy and housing market, weekly polling showed. 

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index -- derived from survey responses on personal finances, job security and the outlook for the economy and real estate prices -- rose to 59.9 in the week ended Aug. 5 from 59.5 previously. That’s the highest since September 2014.

Key Points

* The gain in sentiment reflects growing optimism the economy will improve. The share of Canadians who see a strengthening economy rose to 26.3 percent last week, the highest since May, while those expecting the economy to weaken fell to 21 percent, the lowest since October 2014. The difference between the two -- at 5.3 percentage points -- is the largest since November.

* Canadians are also optimistic about the outlook for real estate, with 44.2 percent of Canadians saying they expect price gains and 11.1 percent predicting declines. The difference between the two -- at 33.1 percent -- is the widest since October 2014.

* On personal finances, 16.8 percent of Canadians said they are better off than they were last year. That’s the highest since January. The share who believe they are worse off also rose to 22.7 percent, from 21.5 percent previously. The difference between the two, 5.8 percentage points, is up from 5.2 percentage points last week but remains well-below the 2016 average of 13.5 points.

* Job security numbers remain one of the sour points of the survey data. The share of Canadians who say their jobs are secure was 64.2 percent last week, among the lowest readings for this question in the past three years. At the same time, those who say their jobs are not secure, at 10.9 percent, is also well below average.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index is based on telephone polling with a rolling four-week average of 1,000 respondents. It is considered statistically accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, with larger margins of error for regional breakdowns.

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