Conference Board: Consumer confidence at highest point since start of pandemic

Conference Board: Consumer confidence at highest point since start of pandemic

Conference Board: Consumer confidence at highest point since start of pandemic

As the Canadian economy continues to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, new figures from the Conference Board of Canada show that consumer confidence has risen to its highest point since the start of the pandemic in March of last year.

The non-profit’s consumer confidence index rose 4.9 points to 90.7 in January, exceeding last March’s level for the first time in 10 months.

Read more: Bloomberg-Nanos: Canadians’ optimism about home prices strongest in three years

And while that number is still 25% below its pre-pandemic level, it is a good indication that the economy is steadily recovering, according to Conference Board economist Anna Feng.

“Canadians are increasingly confident about their financial situation, especially their current finances,” said Feng. “This is likely because the economy is in better shape than it was six months ago, and income support programs have been extended.”

According to the Conference Board, improving confidence – coupled with low interest rates and discounted consumer prices – will help support near-term growth in consumer spending – with the index showing that an increasing number of consumers (22.8%) believe now is a good time to make a “major purchase.”

However, the think-tank also warned that rising COVID-19 cases and tightening restrictions will likely hamper spending – with the index showing that there is still a significant proportion of consumers (58.7%) who expect their finances to remain the same over the coming six months.