Canada consumer confidence hits one-year high on economy outlook

Canadian consumer confidence reached a one-year high, continuing a surge since the federal election last month, a new poll shows

Canada consumer confidence hits one-year high on economy outlook
©2015 Bloomberg News

By Josh Wingrove

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian consumer confidence reached a one- year high, continuing a surge since the federal election last month, polling conducted by Nanos Research shows.

The Bloomberg Nanos Consumer Confidence Index rose to 58.3, the highest since October 2014, driven by gains in both the personal finance and economy outlook sub-indexes. The broad confidence index has climbed steadily since Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won the Oct. 19 election with a pledge of deficit- financed stimulus spending.

The surge in Canadian consumer optimism is wide-spread, with British Columbia leading the way. Sentiment in Canada’s western-most and third-most-populous province reached 63.3, the highest level since tracking began in 2008 and up from 60.5 a week earlier. It also rose in Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic region.

“The prospect of a fiscal stimulus and recent economic news -- including upticks in the labor market and upside momentum in Canada’s non-energy exports -- have been adding to the improvement in household expectations,” said Robert Lawrie of Bloomberg Economics.

Geographic Exception

There was one geographic exception: Optimism slid in Canada’s prairie provinces, the heart of its energy sector where the effects of the oil price shock endure, the Nanos polling shows. Oil has slumped 42 percent the past year amid speculation the global oversupply will persist.

The expectations sub-index, based on sentiment about the economy and real estate prices, increased for the ninth consecutive week to 57.1, up from 56.5 the previous week and versus the 12-month average of 50.7. The pocketbook sub-index, a measure of personal finances and job security, rose to 59.5, the highest since August.

Nationally, the share of those who believe the Canadian economy will be stronger in six months rose to 27.1, the highest point since April of 2012. Optimists outnumbered pessimists by 5.1 percentage points, the widest gap since July 2014.

Sentiment on housing continued to increase. The share of respondents who feel home values will decline in their neighborhood over the next six months fell to 11.7 percent, down from 12.3, reaching its lowest level since Nov. 14, 2014. Those who expected an increase in value rose one percentage point to 35.1.

Nanos Research surveys Canadians’ views on the economy, real estate, job security and personal finances in weekly polls, with figures are based on a four-week rolling average of a total of 1000 respondents. The results are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.