Vaccine Rollout Pushes Canadian Confidence to Post-Pandemic High
(Bloomberg) -- Consumer confidence in Canada climbed to the highest since lockdowns began after the country ramped up its vaccine program.
The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a composite measure of financial health and economic expectations, rose for a third-straight week to 54.2 on Friday, almost exactly where it was in mid-March when widespread restrictions were imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Optimism is brewing as Canada accelerates its immunization program. The country said last week it had secured more than 400,000 early doses of two Covid-19 vaccines, part of a push by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to inoculate as many Canadians as possible against the virus before the end of the year.
Sentiment around the economy and job security strengthened, an indication the positive vaccine news is offsetting more negative developments. Total virus cases surpassed 500,000 in Canada over the weekend, and local health officials continue to impose new restrictions on businesses and households in some regions to limit the spread.
The solid confidence reading is a positive signal for the economy, which could see a rush of spending once restrictions are finally lifted. Much of the Trudeau government’s estimated C$438 billion ($343 billion) in fiscal support is still sitting in Canadian bank accounts.
Every week, Nanos Research surveys 250 Canadians for their views on personal finances, job security, the economy and real estate prices. Bloomberg publishes four-week rolling averages of the 1,000 responses.
- The share of respondents who see the economy becoming stronger in the next six months rose to 21.8%, the highest since August, when virus cases were low and businesses were mostly open
- Almost two thirds of Canadians reported feeling at least somewhat secure in their jobs. The reading of 65.3% was the highest since July. Feelings of job insecurity fell to the lowest since mid-March
- A slightly higher share of Canadians reported feeling better off than they were a year ago, at 14.4%, while the share of those feeling worse off fell slightly to 25.3%
- Real estate, which has been the lone bright spot for most of the pandemic, was the only one of four components to see a decline. The share of respondents who see home prices increasing fell to 47.4, from 47.8 the week before
- Sentiment rose everywhere in the country last week except Quebec, which still has the highest overall confidence level
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