Canadian consumer confidence continued its upward climb last week as COVID-19 cases remain relatively low even with most of the economy open.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a composite measure of financial health and economic expectations, ticked up to 51.7 last week, from 51 a week earlier. It was the index’s second-straight week above 50, indicating a positive balance of responses. Last week was the first time it reached above 50 since the pandemic began in March.

An uplift in sentiment coincides with recent economic data which suggests a gradual recovery in consumer spending and business activity following widespread shutdowns in March and April. Views on real estate have been driving the overall index higher as the housing market heated up over the summer. However, job security remains subdued, as the the labor market has only recovered slightly more than half of the 3 million jobs shed during the peak of the crisis.

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.

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Survey Highlights

  • Views on the economy and real estate improved. Pessimists on the economic outlook outnumber optimists by about two to one, but that gap is the narrowest since before lockdowns began in mid-March. Optimists on home prices now outnumber pessimists by the most since March
  • Despite the improving economic outlook, perceptions about job security deteriorated sharply last week. The share of Canadians describe their job as secure fell below 60 per cent for the first time since April
  • Residents of Ontario have the highest overall confidence, with an index reading of 55.7, while sentiment in the Prairies remained the most depressed at 44.5; the Prairies have been doubly hit by COVID-19 and a drop in oil prices
  • Confidence is lowest among those aged 30-39, with the index at 48.4; meanwhile, Canadians aged 60 and over have the highest readings, at 53
  • The Nanos index has now made up three-quarters of its losses during the pandemic