About Three-in-Five Canadians Rate Economic Conditions as Good

More than a third of respondents expect the economy to improve in the next six months, while just one-in-ten foresee a decline.

Public confidence in the economy continues to improve in Canada and a sizeable proportion of respondents expect the situation to get better over the next six months, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,001 Canadian adults, 58 per cent of respondents say current economic conditions in the country are good, up four points since March.

One-in-five respondents (20%) say that the Canadian economy is out of recession. Ten per cent of Canadians think the recession will end by mid-2010, and 17 per cent say it will be over by the end of the year. More than a third of respondents (37%) think the recession will not end until 2011 or later.

About half of Canadians (46%, -4) think that over the next six months, the national economy will remain stable, whereas more than a third (37%, +2) say it will improve.

Current Concerns

While most Canadians (61%, +3) describe their current economic situation as good, 38 per cent (-2) say their own personal finances are poor or very poor.

Over the past three months, at least three-in-ten respondents have worried about the value of their investments (34%), they or someone in their household becoming unemployed (32%), and the safety of their savings (31%). About one-in-five Canadians have also recently feared they would have no money to pay their mortgage or rent (23%), or seeing their employer run into serious financial trouble (21%).

Inflation and Debt

Most people across the country expect the price of gas (86%), a week’s worth of groceries (76%) and real estate (62%) to go up in the coming months. Fewer Canadians think the price of a new car (35%) or a new TV (24%) will increase soon.

Asked what they would do with a hypothetical handout of $1,000, Canadians would focus on paying debt first, by allocating $375 to this task. Other expenses would be $193 to cover daily expenses, $181 to save in a bank account or GIC, $104 to buy personal items, $79 to put towards a big purchase like a home or a renovation, and the remaining money to invest in individual stocks ($34) or invest in mutual funds ($33).

Compared to March, Canadians are now allocating $44 more to savings.

Political Leadership

Confidence in Prime Minister Stephen Harper to do the right thing to help the economy stands at 41 per cent (+3), while federal opposition leader Michael Ignatieff remains at 26 per cent. The most trusted authority on this topic continues to be Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, at 51 per cent (+1).

There was little fluctuation on the questions related to the best party to manage specific economic concerns. Canadians still prefer the Conservative Party over the Liberal Party to control inflation (37% to 21%), rein in the national debt (37% to 25%), end the recession (36% to 21%), and create jobs (35% to 30%).

Canada vs. Other Countries

One-in-five Canadians (21%) think that the Chinese economy is in better shape than Canada’s. But overall, respondents tend to believe that Canada is doing better than the United States (79%), the United Kingdom (49%), France (42%), Japan (32%) and Germany (31%), and that its condition resembles that of Australia (34%).

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From April 20 to April 21, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,001 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shachi Kurl, Senior Vice President:
604.908.1693 shachi.kurl@angusreid.org @shachikurl

This archive includes polls conducted prior to October 2014 by Angus Reid Global, formerly the public affairs research practice of Vision Critical. We are grateful to Vision Critical for their generous donation of this data.