TORONTO — Optimism about the Canadian economy in the first quarter fell to its lowest level since 2016 in a poll of senior accounting executives.
The survey by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada says optimism in the first quarter of this year fell to 34 per cent compared with 48 per cent in the final quarter of last year.
The percentage of those neutral about the economy increased to 47 per cent for the quarter, up from 36 per cent, while those with a negative outlook increased to 20 per cent from 16 per cent.
The report says 67 per cent of respondents believe Canada is now a less competitive place to invest and do business than the United States compared to a year ago.
The top three challenges to the Canadian economy cited were U.S. trade protectionism, uncertainty in the Canadian economy and U.S. tax reforms.
The CPA report was based on 408 responses to 4,943 surveys that were emailed to executives in senior positions including chief executives, chief financial officers, chief operating officers and other leadership roles.
The survey was conducted from March 13 to March 29.
The Canadian Press