Canada Consumer Confidence Stays Near 4-Year High

Canadian consumer confidence remained near a four-year high last week amid buoyant sentiment about real estate.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index was at 59.7 for the week ended July 25 after reaching 60.6 the previous week, the highest level since 2010. A gauge for real estate sentiment, while down over the past two weeks, remained near record levels for the survey, which began in 2008.

Canadians have been brushing off forecasts of a slowdown in a market analysts such as ratings company Fitch warn may be inflated. Home prices have risen 7.9 percent through the first six months of the year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

“Overall confidence remained near a high for 2014 largely on continued positive views on the value of real estate,” said Nik Nanos, chairman of Ottawa-based Nanos Research Group.

The 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.

The share of Canadians predicting higher home prices over the next six months was at 44.4 percent last week, according to polling done for the index. While down from a record 47 percent two weeks ago, it still represents the fourth-highest reading since 2008. The share of Canadians predicting a decline in prices rose to 12.5 percent, from 11.9 percent the previous week.

The Nanos index has two sub-indexes. The Pocketbook Index, based on responses to the questions about job security as well as personal finances, fell to 60.2 from 60.8 the previous week. That sub-index has averaged 60 in 2014.

Lower Expectations

The Expectations Index, based on responses about the national economy and real estate, slipped to 59.3 from 60.4. The sub-index has averaged 57.8 this year.

The share of people who describe their job as secure or somewhat secure was down to 67.9 percent in the week ended July 25, from 68.4 percent the previous week. The percentage has been above two-thirds since mid-May.

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