Canadian Economy Viewed Favourably, But Regional Disparities Persist

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Seven-in-ten Canadians expect to pay more for groceries and gasoline in the next six months.

Vancouver, BC – While most Canadians believe the national economy is currently in good shape, residents of Ontario and Alberta are unmistakably more fretful about their personal finances than their counterparts in other provinces, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Canadians, more than half (53%) describe the economic conditions in the country as “very good” or “good”, while two-in-five (43%) deem them “poor” or “very poor.”

Atlantic Canadians (73%), British Columbians (66%) and Quebecers (60%) are more likely to say the national economy is in good shape, compared to only 28% of Albertans.

While half of Canadians (51%) expect the national economy to remain the same in the next six months, more than a quarter (27%) are foreseeing a decline—a proportion that rises to 38% in Ontario.

Three-in-five Canadians (62%) describe the economic conditions of their household as “very good” or “good”, and 21% expect an improvement in their current situation—including 32% of those aged 18-to-34.

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One-in-four Canadians (25%) say it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that they will get a raise at their current employer in the next six months, including 31% of Quebecers. Fewer Canadians believe they will change careers (21%), move into another house (19%) or get a promotion (10%) in the next six months.

More than a third of Canadians say they will be spending less on clothes (36%), entertainment (35%), holidays outside their municipality (34%) and dining out (also 34%) in the next six months.

Even fewer Canadians are likely to take an overseas holiday (21%), embark on a major home renovation (18%), purchase a new vehicle (17%) or purchase a new home (8%). British Columbians are the most likely to say they intend to take a trip overseas (40%), compared to only 12% in Ontario.

When it comes to financial concerns, residents of Ontario and Alberta are ahead of the national average. While 43% of Canadians have worried “frequently” or “occasionally” about being able to pay their bills, the proportion rises to 49% in Ontario. Ontarians are also more likely than Canadians to worry about having to carry a balance on a credit card (47%, compared to 36% in Canada), being able to pay their mortgage or rent (34%, compared to 29% in Canada) and their employer running into serious financial trouble (29%, compared to 20% in Canada).

Almost half of Albertans (46%) have worried “frequently” or “occasionally” about the safety of their savings, compared to 34% of Canadians. Albertans are also more likely than Canadians to be concerned about unemployment affecting their household (45%, compared to 35% in Canada) and the value of their investments (43%, compared to 33% in Canada).

“The perceptions of Canadians on the national economy vary greatly across the country,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Ontarians and Albertans are more likely to be worried, while British Columbians and Quebecers appear more buoyant and optimistic.”

When it comes to inflation, more than seven-in-ten Canadians are foreseeing higher prices for a week’s worth of groceries (76%) and gasoline (73%), while fewer expect to have to pay more for a new car (45%) or a new television set (29%).

While 53% of Canadians expect real estate prices to go up, the proportion is highest in British Columbia (61%) and Ontario (68%).

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from March 20 to March 23, 2017, among 1,004 adult Canadians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points. View the detailed data tabulations and the presentation.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com