Canadian consumer confidence at 3-year high

After improving steadily throughout the year, Canadian consumer confidence reached its highest level in three years during the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the Investors Group Inc.

The Harris Decima Index of Consumer Confidence in Canada improved during each quarter of 2013:

  • Q1 – 77.6
  • Q2 – 79.7
  • Q3 – 81.2
  • Q4 – 84.4

Allan Gregg, chairman of the Investors Group, said:

“Consumer confidence rose throughout 2013 in every region of the country. Perhaps as importantly, regional differences in outlook also became less pronounced, suggesting that all parts of the country (although somewhat less so in Quebec) are sensing that the economy is on the rise and that better times are ahead.”

Product and Corporate Research Vice-President at Investors Group, Gaetan Ruest, said:

“The gradual improvement of consumer confidence in Canada appears to reflect the slow-but-steady growth in the Canadian economy. This is an encouraging way to wind up 2013 and look forward to a new year.”

In Atlantic Canada, consumer confidence was especially low at 68.6 at the beginning of 2013, but over the course of the year rose to 80.5, and then 81.5 in November.

In Quebec, consumer confidence increased from 77.8 to 79.9, and finally reached 80.3 in November.

Ontario rose from 78.1 to 85 by the end of 2013, while in Manitoba and Saskatchewan is increased from 85.2 to 90.7.

Consumer confidence started the year at 84.7 in Alberta, and reached 95 in November. In British Columbia the index climbed from 70.5 to 79.7.

Canadian economy set for better 2014 and 2015

After a moderate 1.8% GDP growth in 2013, the Canadian Outlook-Autumn 2013, issued by the Conference Board of Canada, forecasts growth of 2.5% for 2014 as well as 2015.

2014 plus 2015 will be better than 2012 and 2013 because of an acceleration in export volumes, according to the report.

Balancing the books (dealing with a fiscal deficit) in 2015-2016 “will remain a challenge”, because inflation will be low and government revenues will be lower than forecast.