Consumer sentiment in Canada turned positive for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, with widespread gains across regions and age groups. The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a composite measure of financial health and economic expectations, climbed to 51 last week, from 49.8 a week earlier. A reading above 50 indicates a net positive balance of responses. The gauge is now at its highest since March 20, immediately after nationwide lockdowns went into effect to contain COVID-19.

The improvement aligns with other indications Canada is slowly returning to a more normal footing after provinces such as Ontario moved to fully reopen their economies. The country’s labor market has recouped more than half of losses in the past three months, after mass business closures put 3 million people out of work.

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.

Survey highlights
Confidence moved higher in every age group except those 30 to 39 years old. Views that the economy will be weaker in the next six months fell to 49.7%, the lowest since March, and the gap between pessimists and optimists also narrowed to 26 percentage points, the least since before the outbreak began.

Real estate sentiment continues to improve, with 31.6% of respondents expecting the value of housing in their neighbourhood to increase in the next six months. That’s up from just 9% at the end of May.

Measures of employment anxiety eased. The share of respondents who reported feeling insecure or somewhat insecure about their jobs dropped to 13.4%, the lowest since March. Sentiment improved in all regions, apart from a slight decline in Quebec, where readings had already turned positive in July.

Source: Toronto Star