61% think Canadian economic conditions are poor or very poor, but 66% have good or very good personal finances, and 53% have not experienced any negative financial impacts due to the pandemic.
Vancouver, BC —Despite perceptions of a very negative economic environment in Canada due to COVID-19, the majority of Canadians are feeling pretty good about their own financial situation now and in the future according to our most recent “2021 Canadian Economic Insights Report”.
Perceptions of the national economy are far worse now than they were just before the pandemic hit this time last year, but most seem to be feeling that it’s their neighbour’s problem, not theirs, as confidence in their own personal financial situation is actually quite positive and comparable to pre-pandemic levels.
In February of 2020, 57% of Canadian residents rated their confidence in the Canadian Economy as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, compared to only 32% currently. At the opposite end of the scale, 61% now think the economic conditions are ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ compared to only 36% last February. English Quebec residents are a little more optimistic about the current state of the economy (43% ‘good’ or ‘very good’), followed by BC (38%), and Ontario (34%), while Albertans are the least positive (20%).
Most believe the Canadian economic downturn won’t be over anytime soon either as only 22% think that the economy will improve this year, and a third (33%) think it will get worse. There is a lack of consensus on perceptions of how quickly our economy will take to recover, as 35% think the recession will end in 2022, and 23% think it will take longer than that.
When asked about their personal financial situation, Canadian’s are far more optimistic relative to the economy as a whole, as 66% feel that their own financial situation is ‘good’ or ‘very good’, numbers that are equivalent to pre-pandemic levels (65%), and results are pretty consistent across the country. Looking to the future, 18% feel their own financial situation will improve this upcoming year, just above the number (14%) who think it will decline. Another measure shows that 25% think their personal income will increase this year (BC residents are the most likely to see income improvements this year at 28%, followed by Ontario at 26% and English Quebec at 24%).
When it comes to specific elements of their own financial situation at a household level, it appears some Canadians are financially better off in some areas compared to pre-pandemic levels. While a large number of Canadians (63%) are still worried about the value of their investments, the safety of their savings (63%), or becoming unemployed (57%) these numbers are identical to this time last year. Smaller numbers of Canadians (52%) are worried about paying their bills, carrying a balance on their credit card (48%) or paying their mortgage or rent (42%), and each of these concerns have dropped since this time last year (9 to 12 point drops).
The pandemic overall has had a dramatic and varying level of overall financial impact this past year on families across the country. The majority of Canadians indicate it has not had a negative impact; nearly half (45%) tell us the pandemic has had no real impact on their household finances one way or the other and 8% have experienced positive impacts. Just under half (47%) report a negative impact on their family’s finances overall, but most of these have experienced a moderate (38%) rather than major (9%) negative impact.
“In multiple polls we have conducted throughout this pandemic, we have found that the vast majority of Canadians have actually fared well financially during this pandemic, despite the doom and gloom of the various economic indicators,” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “The negative financial impact of the pandemic has been limited to a sizeable minority of the population. And there continues to be a massive disconnect between the negative sentiment towards the overall economy versus the perception of most people’s personal finances.”
The full report of Insight West’s 2021 Canadian Economic Insights report is available for download here.
About Insights West:
Insights West is a full-service marketing research firm based in Western Canada. Since 2012, the company has conducted over one million surveys, executed 2,000 studies, and issued over 350 press releases on a variety of topics, correctly predicting the outcomes of 25 out of 26 elections and plebiscites. Insights West is a team of passionate, truth-seeking researchers who question everything to uncover the truth and what is emerging for a diverse set of clients. With an understanding of shifting markets, consumer and societal trends, and commitment to uncovering truths through a proprietary toolkit and innovative research approaches, Insights West helps organizations make better decisions.
About this Release:
Results are based on an online study conducted from February 3-8, 2021 among a sample of 1,614 English-speaking Canadians. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding. Click HERE to view the detailed data tabulations.
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