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

Canada’s economic optimism crippled by pandemic, Pew poll suggests
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WASHINGTON — A new global poll says confidence in the Canadian economy took a dramatic dive over the summer in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — a whipsaw pivot sharper than any of the other countries surveyed.

Sixty-one per cent of Canadians taking part in the Pew Research Center survey said the current economic situation is bad, more than twice the 27 per cent who said the same thing in 2019.

Twelve of the 14 countries surveyed were asked the same question last year, all of them reporting similar double-digit reversals, with Canada’s 34 percentage-point change leading the way.

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.

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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 3, 2020.


The Canadian Press

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