Canadian Pessimism on Economy Deepens to Recession-Era Levels

Consumer pessimism about the Canadian economy deepened to levels last seen during the recession as the nation grapples with the impact of an oil price shock.

The share of Canadians who predict the national economy will fade over the next six months rose to 45.5 percent last week, the highest since the first quarter of 2009, according to Nanos Research. Those predicting the economy will strengthen fell to 15 percent, the lowest since 2008.

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 ending Feb. 6:

*The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index -- a composite score based on the four survey questions -- declined to 54.6, the lowest since May 2013, from 55.6.

*The share of Canadians expressing pessimism about the prospects for the economy has doubled from October. The difference between pessimists and optimists -- at 30.4 percent -- is the highest since the 2008-2009 recession.

*Canadians continue to pare expectations for home values. The share of those predicting real estate prices will fall over the next six months rose to 18.2 percent, the highest level since May 2013 and up from about 11 percent in October. The percentage predicting prices will rise, while up the last two weeks, remains at relatively low levels. It was 32.2 percent last week from 44 percent in October.

*Canadians remain relatively optimistic about the state of their personal finances, reflecting falling prices for gasoline and lower mortgage rates. The share of Canadians who say their finances have improved over the past year has averaged 25 percent over the past three weeks. That’s the highest since at least 2008.

*Job security remains elevated. The share of Canadians who describe their job as at least somewhat secure was 71 percent last week, versus a 12-month average of 66.7 percent. Those who say their jobs are not secure or not at all secure with 12.3 percent who say their employment is not secure or somewhat not secure, in line with the 12-month average.

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