After just two months of near record highs, Canada’s consumer confidence is shaking in its boots. According to recent polling done by the Nanos Research Group for Bloomberg News, Canadians are concerned about the sustainability of its nation’s economic expansion.
The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a composite gauge or “temperature” of the country’s economic health, quantified a drop in the level of Canadian consumer confidence. This confidence level has had its biggest decline in two years during these past two months. Just take a look at these dates and scores:
End of 2017 – 62.2
End of January 2018 – 5.9
Week ending March 3, 2018 – 57.7
Additionally, confidence levels in this first week in March were below levels posted a year ago for the first time in more than 12 months.
Nik Nanos, Chair of the Nanos Research Group, said, “The percentage of Canadians who think the Canadian economy will get stronger in the next six months has dropped more than 6 points in the past four weeks…”
Despite enjoying the strongest job market in four decades, Canadian households are worried about …
- 3 rate hikes by the Bank of Canada since July 2017
- A weakening Canadian dollar
- Sharp declines in stock prices
- Renewed worries in the housing market
- A slowing economy due to decreasing consumer spending.
- An economic growth forecast for 2018 registers at 2%. Last year, Canada’s economic growth experienced a +3% gain.
Today, more people are pessimistic about Canada’s economic prospects than those who are optimistic. Compare 28% pessimists to 23% optimists. These percentages were flipped just one month ago when 28% were optimistic about Canada’s economic prospects and 23% were not. Overall, this switch from optimism to pessimism is the largest negative month-end spread since May 2017.
Regionally, British Columbia and Alberta recorded sharp declines in confidence during February 2018. Also in February 2018, expectations for real estate prices showed a small deterioration.