Canada Confidence Falls as Personal Finance Outlook Worsens

  • Readings on economy, job security, housing are little changed
  • Pessimists on finances outnumber optimists by most since June

Canada consumer optimism fell last week as Canadians continued to report a worsening personal finance outlook, telephone polling shows.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index fell to 56.8 from 57.1 a week earlier. Expectations for personal finances declined while sentiment on the economy, housing and real estate were little changed. The index has been hovering at about the lowest since April.

The share of those saying their personal finances improved over the past year dropped to 13.9 percent, from 15.2 percent a week earlier, while the share of those who say it declined rose to 27.2 percent from 26.4 a week earlier. The gap between the two groups grew to its highest level since June.

“Asked about their personal finances, Canadians are twice as likely to say it is worse than better than a year ago,” Nanos Research Group Chairman Nik Nanos said.

Regionally, overall sentiment was highest in British Columbia, where it rose to 59.8 from 58.6 a week earlier. Confidence scores fell in Ontario, Quebec and the resource rich Prairies, and were little changed in Atlantic Canada. Consumer optimism on the Prairies fell to 49 from 49.3 a week earlier.

Economy Views

The share of those expecting Canada’s economy to improve in the next six months fell to 19.5 percent from 19.8 percent a week earlier, while the share of those expecting it to worsen rose to 24.3 percent from 24.2 percent a week earlier. While a majority of Canadians say there will be no change in the economy or that they don’t know, the share of those expecting a contraction now exceeds the share of those expecting expansion by the largest margin since April.

The percentage of respondents who say their job is at least somewhat secure rose to 66.7 percent from 66.3 percent a week earlier, the highest level since June. The share of those expecting real estate prices to rise in their neighborhood over the next six months fell to 39 percent from 39.7 percent, though remains above the 2016 average of 37.9.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index is based on four-week rolling samples of 1,000 respondents. It’s considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The latest round of polling concluded Oct. 14.

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