Consumer confidence in Canada rose to its highest level in eight months amid optimism positive vaccine developments will sustain an economic recovery. The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a composite measure of financial health and economic expectations, reached 53.3 during the week of November 30, its highest since mid-March when widespread shutdowns were imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

While the index is still below its long-term average, the gain in sentiment likely reflects hope of a quick global rollout of vaccines, with a massive mobilization set to get underway.  In November, the Canadian stock market had the biggest monthly gain since April, matching global gains on optimism over vaccines.

The increase in Canadian sentiment may have broken a recent holding pattern. The index is still three points below longer-term averages, but had been hovering at current levels for weeks amid a second wave of virus cases after making up the bulk of its pandemic losses over the summer months.

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. The share of respondents who believe the economy will strengthen over the next six months rose to 19.9%, the highest reading since September.

Real estate optimism continues to grow, consistent with recent strength in home prices and sales. Some 45% of respondents say they expect the value of homes in their neighbourhood to increase in the next six months.

Moreover, almost 64% of respondents say their job is either secure or somewhat secure, the highest reading in two months. Through November, the economy had recovered 81% of the three million jobs lost during the spring shutdowns, according to a report on December 4.

Source: Toronto Star