Central Alberta REALTORS® Association

Prairies Consumer Confidence

According to the Conference Board of Canada, consumer confidence in the Prairies posted a small rebound but remained at historically subdued levels in May 2020. Consumer confidence has been hammered by the economic impact of COVID-19 and a significant decline in oil prices.

When asked about job prospects over the next six months, the number of respondents expressing pessimism remained near record levels. The number of respondents expecting deterioration in the labour market exceeds those expecting stability for the first time since the oil price shock in 2014/2015.

More consumers now expect their household budget will remain stable over the next six months compared to the number of those expecting deterioration, a sharp reversal from the previous month. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of respondents expressing uncertainty on their budgetary situation over the next six months.

Sentiment about making major purchases, like a home or a car, remains near the lowest levels on record. The overall percentage of consumers who thought it was a bad time to make a major purchase skyrocketed in April as the percentage of those who were uncertain or thought it was a good time for major purchases moved sharply in the opposite direction.