Canadian households are facing a third wave, while watching the U.S. get back to normal. Naturally it’s wearing on consumer confidence. BMO economist Priscilla Thiagamoorthy’s latest analysis shows U.S. consumer confidence soared in April. Canada is seeing the exact opposite happen — consumers are growing more pessimistic. The bank says this should subside in the second half of the year, as new infections fall, and vaccines ramp up.
U.S. Consumer Confidence Is Now Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels
The Conference Board reported U.S. consumer confidence hit the highest point in the past year. The index reached 121.7 points in April, up 12.7 points from a month before. This follows an 18.6 point increase in March as well. The index is now at the highest level since February 2020.
Thiagamoorthy said, “Americans are increasingly upbeat about the economic recovery, as the vaccine rollout continues to gain momentum and openings resume.” Easy to see, considering the index now stands higher than it was before the outbreak of the pandemic.
Canadian Consumers Became More Pessimistic About The Economy
North of the border, Canadians are turning more pessimistic during the third wave. BMO notes Consumer confidence fell to 98.4 points in April, down 6.8 points from the month before. The drop is the first in six months though. Things have improved, they’re just seeing a few setbacks.
The economist said, “it’s a different story in Canada… Households here turned more pessimistic as the nation contends with a third wave of COVID and more stringent restrictions.”
Despite the drop in Canadian sentiment, she does say there’s “light at the end of the tunnel.” Canadian vaccines are ramping up, and a series of lockdowns have slowed the number of new cases. It might seem like it will take forever, but the bank is forecasting strong economic growth in the second half of the year.
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