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How Canadians feel about the economy and their own pocketbooks

·2 min read

As vaccines roll out and COVID-19 cases drop, the economy is expected to recover but many Canadians aren't feeling that confident about their own pocketbooks.

A new Yahoo/Maru poll found respondents had the highest level of confidence (57 per cent) since polling began in February, that the economy is moving in the right direction.

The most recent GDP data from Statistics Canada show the economy grew 1.1 per cent in March compared to the previous month, but is expected to have contracted in April in the face of strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Québecers are the most optimistic about the economy compared to last month (+38 percentage point net score), followed by people in British Columbia (+19).

The sentiment is more lukewarm in Manitoba/Saskatchewan (+3). Despite a rebound in oil prices, Albertans are still the most pessimistic (-14.5).

Age and education are also factors. Older Canadians are more optimistic about the economy (+24) and so are the most educated (+33).

The next most optimistic groups are middle-income earners making $50,000 – $99,000 (+19), followed by the highest annual income earners making more than $100,000 ( +16.5).

The lowest educated group, high school or less, are the least optimistic (+4) followed by those making less than $50,000 a year (+11)

Personal financial position not so good

It’s a different story when it comes to bank accounts though.

The poll found just over one in 10 (13 per cent) Canadians believe their financial position has improved since last month compared with one in six (16 per cent) who believe it has become worse. Seven in 10 (71 per cent) reveal that it has remained the same over the last month.

Sentiment worsened the most in Manitoba and Saskatchewan ( -23), followed by Atlantic Canada (-16), and Alberta (-10).

It improved the most in Quebec (+6), followed by Ontario (0), and British Columbia (-7).

Sentiment worsened the most among people making over $100,000 (-12), followed by people making less than $50,000 (-10), and Canadians over 55.

"With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau contemplating an election in the not-too-distant future, the findings are worth contemplation," said Maru's executive vice-president John Wright.

The survey of 1,522 Canadian adults done between June 18-21, 2021 has an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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