Canadian Consumer Confidence Holds Near Lowest Since April

  • Views on prospects for real estate continue to deteriorate
  • Confidence falls most among oldest respondents, homeowners

Canadian consumer confidence remains subdued amid a worsening outlook for housing and the economy.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index was little changed at 55.6 last week, holding at about the lowest since April. That’s down from as high as 59.9 in August. The sentiment gauge has averaged 56.1 in 2016. The Expectations sub-index, based on perceptions about the economy and real estate prices, dropped to the lowest since March.

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 last week:

  • The share of Canadians who expect the value of real estate in their neighborhood to rise over the next six months fell to 34.4 percent, while those who anticipate a decrease in prices rose to 18.3 percent. The difference between the two -- at 16 percentage points -- is well below the 2016 average of 21 points.
  • “Expectations have dropped across the board but home-owners and older cohorts who are more likely to own a house have indicated the biggest loss of confidence,” said Bloomberg economist Robert Lawrie. Confidence readings for those aged 50 and higher averaged 53.1, compared with 57.7 for younger respondents.
  • The share of respondents who say the economy will weaken over the next six months rose to 25.2 percent, from 23.9 percent. Those who believe it will strengthen climbed to 19.4 percent, from 19 percent, below the 2016 average of 22.5 percent.
  • On the brighter side, employment security improved last week, with the share of Canadians who believe their jobs are at least somewhat secure rising to 63.6 percent, from 62.9 percent. Still, that’s below the 2016 average of 67 percent this year. The share of respondents who believe their job is not secure or somewhat not secure rose to 12.6 percent, about in line with this year’s average.
  • The index is based on a four-week rolling average of 1,000 respondents and is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The latest round of polling concluded Nov. 25.
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