Canadian Consumer Confidence Falls Amid Uncertainty About COVID-19 Variants

Canadian consumer confidence continues to weaken.

Canada has reported a third weekly decline in consumer confidence amid concerns about a softening economic outlook heading into the autumn months. The Bloomberg Nanos Confidence Index, a measure of sentiment based on household polling, fell one point to 61.6 last week, bringing it to the lowest level since March of this year.

The index is now down 3.5 points over the past three weeks and almost five points since hitting a record high in July.

Waning optimism over the strength of the Canadian economy is driving the decline, fueled by growing worries about the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 and a fourth wave of the pandemic.

Weakening consumer confidence is also coinciding with a string of poor economic numbers that suggest Canada is repairing damage from the crisis more slowly than analysts had anticipated.

Every week, Nanos Research surveys 250 Canadians for their views on personal finances, job security and their outlook for the economy. The confidence index represents a rolling four-week average of about 1,000 responses.

The share of Canadians who see the economy strengthening over the next six months fell to 35% last week, down from 54% at the beginning of July. Questions around personal finances and real estate have also shown a declining trend in recent weeks.

The good news is that household sentiment is still at high levels. The household confidence index is about 10% above its historical average.