Canadian Confidence Declines for First Time in Eight Weeks

  • Nanos index posts biggest weekly drop since January on jobs
  • Outlook for finances and economy dims; B.C. is lone gainer

Canadian consumer confidence fell for the first time in eight weeks as readings on job security and the economic outlook deteriorated, telephone polling shows.

The Bloomberg Nanos Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 57.3 in the week ending May 13, from a 2016 high of 57.7 in the previous period. It was the biggest decline since January, as sentiment in every region except British Columbia dropped.

The share of people calling their jobs “not at all secure” rose for a third week to 8.4 percent. The 27.6 percent of respondents who see the economy becoming weaker in six months was up from 26.3 percent a week earlier. It also exceeded the 26.2 percent who see the economy strengthening.

On personal finances, 28 percent of respondents said they had worsened over the last year, almost double the 14.4 percent who saw improvement.

“Although perceptions on job security, personal finances and the strength of the economy stalled, views on the future value of real estate continued to climb,” said Nanos Research Group Chairman Nik Nanos.

Indeed, house price gains in the next six months are expected by 43.5 percent of those polled -- the highest figure since August 2014.

The report meshes with an economy being pulled in different directions. Confidence fell in Alberta, which is grappling with low oil prices and wildfires earlier this month. Neighboring British Columbia, whose sentiment index reached a record high, is in the midst of a housing boom and an economic resurgence.

The data is based on a rolling four-week average of telephone polling totaling 1,000 respondents. It’s considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, with larger margins of error in regional data.

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