Economy Optimism Lifts Canada Consumer Confidence for 4th Week

  • Bloomberg Nanos poll shows gains in job security, housing
  • Confidence Index Approaches Highest This Year at 56.6

Canadians were the most optimistic about the economy’s prospects in more than a year, boosting consumer confidence as voters head to the polls in a federal election.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Consumer Confidence Index rose to 56.7 in the week through Oct. 16, a fourth straight increase. The survey found 21.3 percent of respondents said the economy would become stronger in six months, the most since September 2014, while those who said it would be weaker fell for a ninth week to 25.3 percent.

After contracting for five straight months to start the year, the world’s 11th-largest economy appears to be rebounding. June and July gross domestic product expanded an average 3.5 percent, according to Statistics Canada, which also reported Aug. 9 employment rose by 12,100 positions in September.

The rebound may come too late for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s re-election campaign. Voting ends at 10 p.m. Ottawa time in Canada’s 42nd federal election, and the most recent polls show Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party is poised to end the decade-long reign of Harper’s Conservatives.

Job Security

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. The survey, based on phone interviews with 1,000 people, uses a four-week rolling average of 250 respondents. The results are accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Nanos figures show the percentage of people calling their jobs secure or somewhat secure rose to 67.4 percent from 66.1 percent a week earlier. The 13 percent of people who said that the prices of homes in their neighborhood would fall in six months was the lowest since November.

On the less optimistic side, the share of people saying their personal finances improved over the last year was the lowest since July at 16.2 percent.

Also this week, the Bank of Canada will decide interest rates on Wednesday at 10 a.m. from Ottawa. The benchmark rate will probably remain at 0.5 percent, according to a Bloomberg economist survey. Statistics Canada also reports retail sales for August on Oct. 22, followed a day later by September inflation data.