Canadian Consumer Confidence Gains for 4th Week on Economy View

Canadian consumer confidence rose for a fourth week in the longest string of increases since September on optimism the outlook is improving for the economy and home prices.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index advanced to 55.6 in the week ended March 27, from 55.0 a week before. That was the highest reading since the end of January. The gauge is recovering after it fell to a 21-month low of 53.6 at the end of February on concern about the effects of falling crude prices.

Oil is stabilizing and non-energy exporters are benefiting from a weaker currency and rising U.S. orders, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said March 26, adding he’s hopeful the economy will regain momentum by midyear.

Consumer optimism may be tested by reports this week. Statistics Canada will probably report the economy shrank in January and the trade deficit was C$2 billion ($1.6 billion), versus a five-year average of C$420 million, according to median forecasts in Bloomberg surveys.

Nanos Research asks Canadians each week about their views on personal finances, job security, the economic outlook and where real estate prices are headed. This is what the survey data, which is compiled for Bloomberg News, captured for the week through March 27:

*The share of survey respondents who agree the economy will become stronger in the next six months rose to 16.6 percent from 15.5 percent, the highest since Jan. 23. Those saying it would be weaker declined to 34.9 percent, from 36.4 percent. The spread between the two positions, at 18.2 percentage points, was the narrowest since January.

*The percentage predicting higher home prices climbed to 35.9 percent, the most this year, while those predicting lower prices fell to 16.2 percent. Those readings compare to year-to-date averages of 32.5 percent and 17.4 percent.

*The job market was one area of weakness in the report, with the share of people who say their jobs are not fully secure rising to 13.8 percent, the highest since November 2013.

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