Canada’s economic optimism crippled by pandemic, Pew poll suggests

Canada’s economic optimism crippled by pandemic, Pew poll suggests

The Pew report documents an unsurprisingly dismal outlook for the world’s economic prospects

Confidence in the Canadian economy took a dramatic dive over the summer in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — a whipsaw pivot seen around the world but sharper in Canada than any other country surveyed in a new global public opinion poll.

Sixty-one per cent of Canadians who took part in the Pew Research Center survey released Thursday described the country’s current economic situation as bad, more than twice the 27 per cent who said the same thing last year.

Of the 14 countries included in the poll, the 12 that were also asked the same question last year all reported double-digit reversals in sentiment, with Canada’s 34 percentage-point change leading the way.

“The sharpest uptick in negative assessments has come in Canada, where second-quarter losses in gross domestic product were estimated at 12 per cent,” the centre said in a release. ”Negative assessments have also grown by 30 percentage points in the UK, U.S. and Australia.”

The Canadian segment of the survey, conducted by phone with 1,037 adult respondents between June 15 and July 27, carries a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Of those surveyed in the U.S., 69 per cent said they believe the economy is doing poorly, compared with 30 per cent who disagreed — a finding roughly in line with the 14-country median results of 68 per cent and 31 per cent.

Only in Europe did a majority of respondents say their domestic economies were faring well, with Denmark and Sweden leading the way, at 74 per cent and 68 per cent, respectively.

The two Scandanavian nations are notable for their dramatically different pandemic strategies: Sweden initially adopted a libertarian, herd-immunity approach, while Denmark was the second country in Europe to impose a nationwide lockdown.

“But even (in Sweden), GDP is expected to contract by roughly 5 per cent in 2020, and Swedes are 11 percentage points more likely to think economic conditions in their country are poor than in 2019.”

The Pew report documents an unsurprisingly dismal outlook for the world’s economic prospects, with Canada and the U.S. as notable outliers.

Of Canadian respondents, 48 per cent said they expect the economy to improve over the next 12 months, compared with 34 per cent who expect the opposite and 17 per cent predicting no change. In the U.S., the optimism is even stronger: 52 per cent said they see a brighter future ahead, compared with 32 per cent who do not.

Only Spain, Germany and Australia reported similar levels of optimism.

Almost across the board, those who disapproved of how their country has handled the outbreak were more likely to describe the economy as poor. In Canada, 85 per cent of those disappointed in the government’s handling of COVID-19 had a negative view of the economy, compared with 58 per cent of those who gave the feds a passing grade on the pandemic.

In the U.S., 87 per cent of those disappointed in the Trump administration’s handling of the outbreak described the economy as bad, compared with 50 per cent of those who said the government has done a good job.

James McCarten, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

economy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported an additional 456 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

Businesses are getting creative to keep cash flowing. (File photo)
Central Albertan lobbying government to help those affected by CERB repayments

Catherine Hay says she received a letter in November saying she had to completely repay the benefit

The newly built Parkland Regional Library Services. (Photo Submitted)
Parkland Regional Library system moves into new offices in Lacombe

“Someone with a Parkland Library card can borrow from 350 libraries in Alberta,” Ron Sheppard

The Mountain Cree Traditional Band headquarters in Mirror, Alta. has been the target of theft and vandalism. (Photo submitted)
Mountain Cree Traditional Band’s headquarters broken into five times

AWNTB says not enough being done to deter crime in Mirror, Alta.

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. Public opposition to the Alberta government’s plans to expand coal mining in the Rocky Mountains appears to be growing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File
Alberta cancels coal leases, pauses future sales, as opposition increases

New Democrat environment critic Marlin Schmidt welcomed the suspension

File photo
Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit recovers valuable stolen property

Property valued at over $50,000 recovered by Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit.

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File)
First Nations seek to intervene in court challenge of coal policy removal

Bearspaw, Ermineskin and Whitefish First Nations are among those looking to intervene

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Most Read