Canadian Consumers on Track for Most Confident Year Since 2014

(Bloomberg) -- It’s been a good year for Canadian consumer confidence.

Households began December with the same elevated sentiment levels that have characterized their mood for much of 2017 amid a mini-economic boom and surging home prices, telephone polling shows. Readings on personal finances, job security, the economic outlook and real estate are all above levels seen this time last year, putting 2017 on track to be the best year for consumer confidence since 2014.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index -- a weekly composite gauge based on survey questions -- has averaged a score of 58.9 over the past four weeks, which is in line with the average since the start of the year.

The nation’s expansion is showing durability at the end of the year. The job market is on a tear, companies are starting to invest again after the 2015 oil shock while the federal government has been chipping in extra deficit spending for infrastructure and family benefits.

“The economy has done much better than expectations and I think the Canadian economy is demonstrating resilience that is greater than what was expected. And on that basis we continue to feel confident about 2018,” Riaz Ahmed, Toronto-Dominion Bank’s chief financial officer, said in a phone interview.

Canadian Consumers on Track for Most Confident Year Since 2014

Here are some highlights from the last reading on Dec. 1:

  • The share of respondents who believe housing prices will appreciate was 39.3 percent. While slightly below its 2017 average, the reading is above levels recorded in recent weeks and has rebound from as low as 36.1 percent in October.
  • Quebec and British Columbia have been vying for the best scores in the country, but it’s Quebec that has seen the biggest gains in sentiment in recent weeks. The province’s headline reading in Bloomberg-Nanos polling jumped to 62.6 at the end of November from 58 a month earlier.
  • Canadians remain net optimistic about the economy, with 27.1 percent saying they expect it will get stronger and 23.5 percent predicting a weakening. Optimists have largely been outnumbering pessimists since July, when they reversed three years of negative readings.
  • Job security is also pretty solid, despite a recent waning. The share of Canadians who describe their employment as secure has averaged 67.9 percent over the past four weeks, which is slightly above averages for 2017.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index is based on a four-week rolling average of 1,000 telephone respondents. The results are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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