Ottawa Citizen

Sur­vey shows split on econ­omy

West op­ti­mistic, East less so

- JOR­DAN PRESS Finance · Canada News · Politics · Business · Alberta · Atlantic Ocean · Quebec · Ipsos · Ontario · Germany · Ipsos-Reid · Jackie Wright

The ma­jor­ity of Cana­di­ans are op­ti­mistic about the coun­try’s fis­cal for­tunes head­ing into 2013, but those sen­ti­ments vary by re­gion, sug­gest­ing a tale of two coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to a new poll.

West­ern Cana­di­ans are slightly more op­ti­mistic about the Cana­dian econ­omy go­ing into the new year, with 77 per cent of Al­ber­tans, 76 per cent of Saskatchew­a­ni­ans and Man­i­to­bans, and 72 per cent of Bri­tish Columbians show­ing bright out­looks for the coun­try’s fi­nances. Twothirds of On­tar­i­ans and At­lantic Cana­di­ans be­lieved next year would be a “good” year for the Cana­dian econ­omy, while just over half of Que­bec re­spon­dents felt the same way.

The Ip­sos Reid poll con­ducted for Post­media News and Global Tele­vi­sion also found that, over­all, 60 per cent of re­spon­dents didn’t be­lieve Canada would en­ter a re­ces­sion next year. Of those who be­lieved this coun­try would head into an­other re­ces­sion, the re­sponses again showed a re­gional di­vide: fewer res­i­dents in the West (about onethird of re­spon­dents) agreed Canada would en­ter a re­ces­sion in 2013 com­pared to re­spon­dents in At­lantic Canada (47 per cent), On­tario (40 per cent) and Que­bec (47 per cent).

Those re­sults sug­gest that the eco­nomic growth in the West has buoyed ex­pec­ta­tions rel­a­tive to the eco­nomic for­tunes in On­tario, Que­bec and At­lantic Canada.

But the gen­eral sense of op­ti­mism is a con­tin­u­a­tion of a trend that has seen Cana­dian con­sumers show more con­fi­dence in their econ­omy ver­sus re­spon­dents from other coun­tries. In the last monthly poll of con­sumer con­fi­dence in 24 coun­tries, con­ducted by Ip­sos Reid, Cana­dian re­spon­dents edged past peo­ple in Ger­many in terms of eco­nomic op­ti­mism.

“On the whole, it’s a lit­tle bit like the num­bers that were re­leased on the econ­omy,” said John Wright, Ip­sos Reid’s se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of pub­lic af­fairs.

“We grow a lit­tle bit, not a lot. It’s a steady growth and that’s just how the coun­try has re­sponded to it.”

The re­sults are also sim­i­lar to the na­tional sen­ti­ment coming out of the re­ces­sion of the early 1990s, Wright said.

The poll of 1,021 Cana­di­ans from Ip­sos Reid’s on­line panel was con­ducted from Dec. 7 to 12 and is ac­cu­rate to within 3.5 per­cent­age points.

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