Canadians pessimistic about economy in 2024: Survey

Most Canadians are pessimistic about the economy and their own finances in 2024, a new survey suggests.

In an online survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, 52 per cent of respondents said they believe the Canadian economy will worsen this year, 24 per cent say the economy will stay the same and 15 per cent say it will improve. Pessimism about the state of the Canadian economy was higher in Quebec and lower in Ontario.

Additionally, 82 percent of respondents across the country said they believe Canada is in a recession. Pollara says this is the third highest number since polling on the question began in 2001.

Canada has yet to see two negative quarters of GDP growth, the working definition of a tech recession often used in the media. Some economists say Canada is already in recession on a per capita basis, with immigration largely responsible for Canada's positive economic growth.

Nearly half (46 percent) believe they will lag behind financially in 2024, 38 percent believe they will keep pace and eight percent will outpace them.

Grocery prices are a top financial concern for Canadians, with 44 per cent identifying food costs as their main source of stress, followed by housing costs, gas prices and heating bills. Gas prices have fallen significantly since June 2022, crossing $2 per liter in most cities, down from last year.

Cost of food at grocery stores is a major concern of all regions and age groups. However, people in Atlantic Canada worry more about home heating bills than other regions, with 37 per cent of Atlantic residents saying it's a major source of stress. In Atlantic Canada, nearly one-third of households rely on home heating oil, which is uncommon in other parts of Canada. More expensive than other types of home heating systems.

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Younger Canadians are also more likely to identify housing costs as a major stressor. Among respondents aged 18 to 34, 45 percent said it was a major source of stress, while 19 percent of those over 65 said the same.

When asked what words described their feelings about their personal financial situation, „confidence” and „peace” were the two most common words among homeowners whose mortgages were paid off. Meanwhile, renters and mortgage-paying homeowners said they were „concerned” and „upset”.

Nineteen percent of respondents said they think they or a family member will lose their job in the next 12 months, reflecting a downward trend from 2021. Fear of job loss is most common among those working in blue-collar jobs, with 34 percent answering „yes” to this question.

method

Pollara, Dec. conducted an online survey of a randomly selected sample of 1,503 adult Canadians from 6 to 11, 2023. The margin of error is +/- 2.6 percent, 19 times out of 20, and the data is weighted using sex, age and regional demographic data from the latest Canadian census.


With files from BNNBloomberg.ca

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