Canadian Household Confidence Posts Biggest Gain Since July

  • Poll shows rising optimism on economy and housing market
  • Index reverses decline that followed Trump’s vow on Nafta

Household confidence rose the most in half a year as Canadians reported more optimism about the economy and the housing market, weekly telephone polling showed.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canada Confidence Index climbed to 57.3 in the period ending Feb. 3 from 56.1 previously, the largest increase since July and the highest absolute level since September. The share of respondents who said the economy would be stronger in six months rose to 24 percent, the biggest gain since October 2015.

“Perceptions related to the future strength of the economy moved up,” said Nanos Research Group Chairman Nik Nanos. “We will have to see whether this is a potential new trend in the data after declines in the wake of the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.”

The latest reading reverses a prior decline to an eight-week low, which followed Trump’s pledge to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Canada’s economy showed some life last week after the latest gross domestic product report showed a rebound and the benchmark stock index traded near record highs.

Here are some other findings from the latest confidence report:

  • Optimism about the housing market was the highest since August, with 41.1 percent of those asked saying local prices were heading higher, more than tripling the 11.9 percent calling for a decline.
  • British Columbia also reported the highest confidence since August with a rise to 61.9 from 58.7. Every other region except the Prairies also reported increases.
  • Pessimism about personal finances lingered last week, with 15.3 percent saying they improved over the last year and 28.4 percent saying they had worsened.
  • In the job market, 51.9 percent said their positions were secure, up from 51.2 percent the prior week. That’s well ahead of the 6.3 percent who called their jobs “not at all secure.”

The Bloomberg Nanos Canada Confidence 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.

— With assistance by Erik Hertzberg

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