Canadians' market, fiscal confidence still unsteady

by Ephraim Vecina05 Feb 2019

Canadians are looking at their economic and financial prospects this year with a much more sceptical eye, compared to the optimism that characterized the beginning of 2018.

The latest edition of the Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index showed that consumer confidence is still near a 12-month low.

A major contributor to the cloud of doubt is the anxiety surrounding insolvency, according to the results of the Ipsos MNP Consumer Debt Index released on mid-January.

Of the study’s respondents, 31% admitted that their incomes are nowhere near enough to pay for their accountabilities, while 45% said that they will have no choice but to go deeper into debt if they are to cover for all of their expenses this year.

More alarmingly, the proportion of Canadian households who were just $200 or less away from bankruptcy swelled from 40% in September 2018 to 46% in January.

Read more: Canadians view murkier fiscal, economic prospects in 2019

“Higher interest rates combined with household expenses that outweigh income mean that some are unable to make any kind of meaningful reduction in their debt and, in fact, continue to take on more especially if they encounter unexpected expenses,” MNL Ltd. president Grant Bazian said.

The forward-looking Expectations Index from the Ipsos analysis was at 49.76 as of the end of January, compared to the 57.52 during the same time last year.

Meanwhile, the Confidence Index was at 54.43 compared to the 55.09 just 4 weeks prior – considerably below the 12-month high of 59.12.

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