Canadian Confidence Holds Up Despite New Nationwide Shutdowns

Canadian consumer confidence held up in January at pre-pandemic levels despite new stay-at-home-orders and enhanced restrictions that took effect to curb virus cases.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a composite measure of household sentiment based on telephone polling, averaged 56.5 last month. That’s the highest monthly average since January 2020 and reflects a remarkable rebound in consumer sentiment from record lows earlier last year.

The numbers show new containment measures put in place at the start of the year have yet to derail sentiment, though they appear to have stalled gains. Ontario issued a stay-at-home order last month and Quebec has implemented curfews.

“January 2021 has witnessed a flattening of the positive trajectory concurrent with stricter COVID-19 lockdowns in many parts of Canada,” said Nik Nanos, chief data scientist at Nanos Research Group.

Every week, Nanos Research surveys 250 Canadians for their views on personal finances and job security, as well as their outlook for the economy and real estate prices. Bloomberg publishes four-week rolling averages of the 1,000 responses.

Key Highlights

  • In the final week of January, the index sat at 56.21, just slightly above where it started the month but below levels recorded in the middle of the month
  • About 48% of Canadians say the economy will be weaker in the next six months. While historically high, that’s still the lowest level of pessimism since last March
  • Real estate sentiment remains near record highs with just over half of all respondents saying they believe the value of real estate in their neighborhood will increase in the next six months

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