Survey shows split on economy
West optimistic, East less so
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.