(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – As was the case last month, a majority of Canadians are content with their national economy, and concerns over the future are significantly lower than in the United States or Britain.
In May 2010, about three-in-five Canadians (58%) rate the economic conditions in Canada as "very good" or "good". While there is no change since the April numbers, the proportion is still nine points higher than it was six months ago.
Canada’s economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2010. This week, the Bank of Canada raised its key lending rate to 0.50 per cent, becoming the first G-7 economy to do so.
Despite this seemingly glowing review, the survey suggests that the recovery has been uneven. Two-in-five Canadians (40%) have "occasionally" or "frequently" worried that they or somebody in their household will become unemployed. Also, the idea that Canada is already out of recession is a reality for 29 per cent of respondents in British Columbia, but just 19 per cent in both Ontario and Quebec.
On the policy side, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is trusted by about two-in-five respondents (39%) to handle the economy, while Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has a lower rating (21%). Ignatieff has been unable to gain points on the economic file, and Harper—while distrusted by half of Canadians (49%)—is well ahead of his main rival.
The one area where the Liberals do well is employment. Canadians are divided on which of the two parties would do better at creating jobs, but clearly pick the Conservatives to deal with the national debt, the recession and inflation.
The other issue that is closely related to the interest rate hike is debt. When respondents are asked how they would spend an extra $1,000, the largest chunk of cash ($385) is allocated towards paying down debt. Canadians are satisfied with their economic prospects, but still mindful of existing commitments.