Consumer confidence takes a beating from COVID-19

Report warns that Canadians' confidence in housing and the economy is on "a negative trajectory"

Consumer confidence takes a beating from COVID-19

Canadian consumer confidence has noticeably declined over the past four weeks, as registered by the Bloomberg Nanos Confidence Index.

This was particularly apparent in the area of long-term financial health and economic expectations, which stood at 54.29 as of the latest reading on March 13. This was lower than the 12-month high of 59.06, the 2020 running average of 56.15, and the 56.90 level four weeks prior.

The report emphasized that the Index is currently on “a negative trajectory” – a fear shared by observers such as Scott Terrio, who recently warned of the national insolvency rate swelling if the coronavirus outbreak does not abate soon.

The manager of consumer insolvency at Hoyes, Michalos & Associates added that the 17.5% annual increase in Ontario’s insolvencies last January will likely be dwarfed in the near future.

“I think 20% estimates will be drastically low if this drags on for months,” Terrio told BNN Bloomberg. “This [virus impact] is now drastically out of control.”

The Bloomberg Nanos study further found that confidence in real estate prices experienced a steep drop to 49.76. This was in stark contrast to the 55.61 reading just four weeks before.

Expectations surrounding personal finances and job security fared better, with the Index at 58.81 compared to the 58.19 the month prior.