Canadians personal financial optimism for the coming year improves

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Half confident in Trudeau to prevent worsening health crisis, fewer confident in economic stewardship

The COVID-19 shutdown’s impact on Canada’s economy has been well chronicled: shrunk growth, lost jobs, stock market havoc, and unprecedented government spending to shore up the households hit hardest.

In the face of what has been the most volatile few months in living memory, and the uncertainty associated with the months to come, the latest study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians’ outlooks about their individual longer-term financial well-being has not suffered. Indeed, it is sunnier than it was six months ago.

The latest data finds one-in-three Canadians (32%) saying they are worse off now than they were last year, a number comparable to previous years of non-pandemic period polling. Meanwhile, the percentage saying they are better off now than they were last year at this time has ticked upward to 24 per cent.

Significantly, optimism, too, has risen. The number who say they will be better off next year at this time has risen to 30 per cent, from 15 per cent at the end of 2018, and 21 per cent at the end of 2019.

Some of the pessimism – among those who feel it – is correlated with their lack of confidence in the Trudeau government’s ability to prevent a deepening economic crisis in the coming weeks and months. While a majority (58%) of Canadians say they are not confident in Trudeau’s capacity to minimize economic damage, this rises to 71 per cent among those who feel their finances will worsen in the coming 12 months.

More Key Findings:

  • Half (51%) say they are more worried about the risk of more Canadians becoming sick, while half (49%) say their primary concern is the risk of further economic harm
  • The top three issues Canadians say are facing the nation are healthcare, the economy, and the response to COVID-19. Climate change falls out of the top two issues for the first time in more than 15 months
  • Past Liberal voters are most confident in Trudeau’s ability to minimize further negative health impacts (79%) and prevent further economic decline (67%). Past Conservative voters lack confidence on both of those fronts, while past New Democrats express confidence in the health aspects (65%) but less so on the economy (44%)

You can read more about the economic outlook here: www.angusreid.org

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