Canadian consumer confidence stalled in the week of July 6 for the first time in almost three months. The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a weekly composite measure of financial health and economic expectations, was largely unchanged at 46.1 for the week of July 6, from 46.2 during the week of June 29. That ends a 10-week streak of gains.
The data could stoke concerns Canada’s recovery is slowing after a strong initial bounce back amid reopenings across the country. Policy makers and economists have warned that repairing the damage from the COVID-19 lockdowns will be a prolonged and uneven process, with consumer sentiment plateauing well below pre-pandemic levels and households remaining cautious for some time.
The latest Nanos reading is in line with other indicators that point to a full recovery from the pandemic being a long way off. Recent Statistics Canada data showed the labour market partially recovered in June, but that 60% of jobs lost during the pandemic are still yet to be recouped.
Every week, Nanos Research surveys 250 Canadians for their views on personal finances, job security and their outlook for the economy and real estate prices. Bloomberg publishes four-week rolling averages of the 1,000 responses.
Canadians’ perceptions of their personal finances remain gloomy. Only 13% of respondents report being better off financially over the past year, close to all-time lows. About 37% say their finances have worsened. That’s well above pre-pandemic levels, but down from 42% in April.
Canadians are suddenly getting more pessimistic about the recovery. About 57% of Canadians believe the economy will worsen over the next six months. That’s up from 53% at the end of June, but still well below the 80% in April.
About 16% of Canadians say they feel insecure or somewhat insecure about their employment, up from 15% a week earlier. While that’s down about 10 percentage points from April, the improving trend in recent week for this gauge seems to have come to an end. Real estate is the one area where positive sentiment is accelerating. The share of Canadians who anticipate price increases has doubled since May, to 21%, and there are fewer respondents worried about falling property values. Still, sentiment is well below pre-pandemic levels.
Source: Financial Post