Vaccine, Housing Drive Canada Consumer Confidence to 3-Year High
(Bloomberg) -- Canadian consumer confidence rose to its highest in more than three years amid optimism that an accelerated vaccine rollout will soon bring an end to the Covid-19 health crisis.
The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a gauge of household sentiment, rose last week to the highest since January 2018. After a slow start, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s inoculation effort has been picking up speed, with his procurement chief saying in an interview last week it’s “highly likely” the government’s vaccine timeline will accelerate. That’s leading to Canadians being more optimistic about the economic outlook.
Combined with strong housing markets nationally and improved household balance sheets, confidence levels have not only come back to pre-pandemic levels but are now well above historic averages.
Every week, Nanos Research surveys 250 Canadians for their views on personal finances, job security and their outlook for both the economy and real estate prices. The index jumped to 60.5 for the week ending March 5 from 59.4 the previous week. The gauge was hovering at around 56 before the pandemic, which is also its average since weekly polling started in 2013.
The confidence gauge had plunged by a record one-third last March and April, before beginning its climb back last summer.
- A third of Canadians expect the nation’s economy will be stronger six months from now. That’s up from 24% at the start of 2021 and well above the 20% average for this question over the past eight years
- The increase in sentiment was broad-based across the country, with all provinces posting gains
- Job security sentiment also improved, with just under 70% of Canadians saying their employment is at least somewhat secure. That’s above historical averages
- Just over one in five Canadians say their personal finances have improved over the past year, also above average for this question
- Optimism about the housing market has been hovering at near all-time highs in recent weeks as low borrowing costs propelled home prices to records. More than half of respondents say they believe the value of real estate in their neighborhood will increase in the next six months
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