The confidence of most Canadians in the economy, personal finances, job security and real estate edged higher at the end of 2016.

The Bloomberg/Nanos Canadian Confidence Index ended the year at 56.82, up from a week earlier and exceeding sentiment at the end of 2015. All four measures saw increased positivity.

”There were reasons for the various segments of consumers to become more optimistic at the end of the year. Asset prices increased, with oil rebounding by 45% and the stock market moving up 18% in 2016, all while the housing boom continued,” explained Bloomberg economist Robert Lawrie.

Optimism for personal finances including mortgages closed out the year above the 2016 average but expectation of higher real estate prices was below the average.

Most provinces saw increased confidence except for British Columbia which has seen home prices easing in recent months.

Lawrie says there are some challenges ahead for the economy as it seeks to transition to an innovation base.

“Still to be considered is the persistent slack in the labor market and formulation of policies for those that might be left behind during that transition”, he said.

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