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Economy

After Historic Low, Perceptions of Current Economic Conditions in Canada Rebound

Despite 13-Point Gain, Just Half (49%) Say Canadian Economy is in Good Shape

Toronto – Canadians are feeling more confident about the current state of Canada’s economy than at any point so far in 2016, according to a new Ipsos poll provided exclusively to Global News. The poll reveals that half (49%) of Canadians now rate current economic conditions in Canada, overall, as ‘good’ (4% very/45% somewhat), a significant rebound from just last month when only one in three (36%) Canadians felt the economy was doing well – a 13 point increase. Conversely, the other half (51%) of Canadians describe conditions as ‘bad’ (8% very/42% somewhat), down 13 points.

In early 2016 the sell-off on equity markets and mounting job losses led to the poorest assessment of current economic conditions among Canadians in over two decades, with Ipsos measuring a low point of 34%. However, strengthening oil prices, a rallying Canadian dollar and other factors have caused Canadians to be less pessimistic now than they were in the first quarter of 2016.

Alberta continues to bear the brunt of the impact of low oil prices, as just one in four (23%) Albertans rate the national economy as good. In contrast, assessments are most positive in BC, where 62% say the economy is good, followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba (55%), Ontario (52%) and Quebec (51%), followed distantly by those in Atlantic Canada (39%).

Future Outlook Improves Modestly as More Believe their Local Economy Will be Stronger (19%, +3), Not Weaker (15%, -6), in Next Six Months

Canadians still remain wary about where their local economy is going, but seem to be feeling more positive than they did a month ago. While two in three (66%) expect the local economy to remain about the same as it is now in six months’ time, more Canadians (19%) think it will grow stronger (4% much/15% somewhat) and fewer (15%) feel it will get weaker (3% much/12% somewhat). The picture has improved slightly compared to a month ago when 21% of Canadians felt their local economy would weaken and just 16% felt it would strengthen – an overall pessimistic outlook.

Perceptions differ widely by region, and are most optimistic in BC and least so in the Prairies, whose residents forecast that things are likely to get worse before they get getter.

British Columbia: 26% strengthen vs. 9% weaken, net +17
Ontario: 21% strengthen vs. 15% weaken, net +6
Atlantic Canada: 15% strengthen vs. 10% weaken, net +5
Quebec: 14% strengthen vs. 13% weaken, net +1
Alberta: 19% strengthen vs. 28% weaken, net -9
Saskatchewan and Manitoba: 16% strengthen vs. 26% weaken, net -10
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 25 and April 8, 2016. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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