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

Shea Long roosts in the Shoot Out in the Telkwa Range. (SnoRiders, Houston/Shea Long photo)
Telkwa Range snowmobiling permit lottery opens

Application period is Oct. 20 to Nov. 20 for snowmobiliers and skiers to gain access to Starr Basin

Students from Houston Secondary School showed up voluntarily on Nov. 29, 2019, during their lunch break to provide input on the board’s strategic plan. (Matthew Monkman/Houston Today)
SD 54 unveils their new logo

Part of the Strategic Draft Plan released by the school district

The Dupras family has been regulars at the Babine River and have seen plentiful grizzlies over the years. (Jay Dupras photo/Lakes District News)
A family’s close encounter with a grizzly on Babine River bridge

Photo-enthusiasts let the bear access the bridge for photos putting others at risk

Catenary poles, from which lights will be strung, mark some of the progress as the 9th St. improvement project nears its finishing date. (Houston Today photo)
Downtown work to continue into end of this month

Finishing touches not expected until next spring

District of Houston office
Wants variance to allow taller building

Property owners adjacent to M. Brown Contracting on Vriend Road have the… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
2 years after huge highway acid spill, Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast their ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

Most Read