Canadian consumer confidence declines for the fourth consecutive week

Photo of Vancouver real estate (by Jay Mcinnes via Flickr) and Nanos Research Group Chairman Nik Nanos (from CTV video)

For the fourth week in a row, Canadian consumer confidence in the economy has declined, according to Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index.

The Bloomberg index is based on survey responses to questions on consumers’ finances and job security to measure their level of optimism towards the economic prospects.

According to the report, confidence fell to 57.9 last week (ending on Oct. 24), from 58.4 the previous week. The highest of the year stands at 60.60. This week is the lowest the index has declined since February, triggered by the weakening confidence in the economic outlooks and real estate prices.

"The decline has largely been driven by views of real estate which registered a noticeable one week drop in confidence," said Nanos Research Group Chairman Nik Nanos. "With real estate as a key pillar of economic confidence, this will need to be very closely monitored." 

Nanos says last weeks tragic events could have impacted the confidence level, according to a Bloomberg article. One incident near Montreal saw two soldiers run down in an attack (one solider died), followed by the Ottawa shooting that left a soldier dead at the national war memorial.

“When major tragic events happen, there is a short-term chill effect,” said Nanos. “That being said, this negative trend started before the shootings. It could just be the shootings have amplified a negative trend that already exists.”

The average for the index this year has been 58.90.

"Canada's labor market participation rate is back to 2001 levels and the yearly rate of decline is gathering steam, neither of which should help the overall mood of Canadian consumers should there be further changes in asset prices and the demand for energy and housing," said Bloomberg economist Robert Lawrie.

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