Consumers in the Prairies have the lowest confidence in current economic conditions according to new figures. The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index essentially held steady across the country for the first week of 2016 at 53.78, well below the 12-month average of 58.62. In the Prairies the figure is 44.48, down almost 10 points in 3 months to hit a new 12-month low. “The economic mood in the Prairies has gone from the highest in the country to the lowest with a continuous negative cycle of negative forward sentiment,” said Nanos Research Group Chairman Nik Nanos.

Confidence increased in Quebec and BC in the week ending Jan 8. Nationally, the level of positive expectations on personal finances, the overall economy and job security were lower while more people thought that real estate prices would be higher by the summer. Older Canadians are more optimistic as are homeowners compared to renters. Middle-income respondents were also more confident, probably due to the new tax rates.

“The percentage of highly-indebted households has doubled since the 2007 Crisis, which implies a higher degree of vulnerability in the event of another shock, all else being equal”, said Robert Lawrie of Bloomberg Economics.

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