Consumer confidence in the Prairies slumps to 16-month low

by Steve Randall10 Mar 2020

Even before the coronavirus risk elevated, Canadians were concerned about the state of the economy and their personal finances.

But last week the Canadian Consumer Confidence Index fell to 55.50, its lowest point of 2020 so far and down from 56.01 four weeks ago and roughly the same as one year ago.

The weekly index from Bloomberg and Nanos Research was weakest in the Prairies where confidence was at its lowest point since November 2018.

Elsewhere, the index declined in every province except Ontario week-over-week but was up in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada compared to four weeks earlier.

Why the decline?
Confidence in the economy is the main drag on the index with the sub-index tracking sentiment in this weakening compared to four weeks ago.

The share of Canadians who say the economy is expected to strengthen over the next six months has fallen to 13%, down from 15% four weeks ago.

The same sub-index also tracks sentiment in real estate prices but the share of Canadians who see home prices rising increased to 47.5% from 44.62% four weeks ago.

The overall sub-index which tracks confidence in personal finances and job security also ticked higher with larger shares of respondents showing positive sentiment.

Homeowners and renters both expressed lower confidence than one week earlier.

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