Most Canadian business leaders are at least cautiously optimistic about returning to normal

Most Canadian business leaders are at least cautiously optimistic about returning to normal
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TORONTO – In the latest survey from The Business Monitor, released by Modus Research, Canadian executives were asked the likelihood of the COVID outbreak being contained and safely returning to normal activities over the next 12 months. This question was asked in October and December of 2020, and again in April 2021. Optimism over a return to normality has more than doubled since October, albeit still below a quarter of business leaders. Most are at least cautiously optimistic on a return to normality, while a sizable minority remain strongly pessimistic.

  • In April 2021, 22% of executives said it is very likely that the outbreak will be contained and people will return to normal activities in the next 12 months. 20% believe it is unlikely to happen and 56% were undecided.
  • In October 2020, only 9% of executives said the outbreak containment and a return to normality is likely to happen, compared to 36% who said it is unlikely, with 55% being undecided.

Business leaders were also asked what they thought would be the general outlook for the Canadian economy over the next 12 months. Business leaders who believe it will be safe to resume normal activities are notably more confident about the Canadian economy than those who are pessimistic about a return to normal. Fully one half of the optimistic group see the Canadian economy improving over the next year, while just over a quarter of the pessimistic group think likewise.

  • Of those executives who believe a return to normality is likely to happen, 50% believe the Canadian economy will improve over the next 12 months, 29% believe it will worsen and 18% think it will stay the same.
  • Out of business leaders who believe a return to normality is unlikely to happen, 28% think the Canadian economy will improve, 46% believe it will worsen and 23% believe it will stay the same.

Executives were asked what they thought would be the general economic outlook for their organization over the next 12 months. Canadian executives who expect a return to normality are also substantially more confident about their business prospects, with more than half saying their economic outlook will improve over the next year. On the other hand, business leaders who believe a return to normality is unlikely are much less confident in their business outlook.

  • Out of business leaders who believe containment and a return to normality is likely to happen, 54% expect their organization’s economic outlook to improve over the next 12 months, compared to 7% who think it will worsen and 39% believe it will stay the same.
  • Of those who think containment and a return to normality is unlikely to happen, 28% believe their organization’s economic outlook will improve over the next 12 months, 15% think it will worsen and 56% think it will stay the same.

Canadian business leaders were asked whether or not they expect their organization to fully recover to pre-COVID conditions at some point in the future. In keeping with the higher economic and business confidence of those expecting a return to normality, only a tiny minority (7%) do not expect their organization to fully recover to pre-covid conditions.

  • Out of those business leaders who are optimistic about a return to normality, 60% expect their organization to fully recover, 16% have already recovered, 12% saw no major impact, and 7% don’t expect to recover at all.
  • From those executives who believe a return to normality is unlikely to happen, 46% expect their organization to fully recover to pre-COVID conditions, 6% have already recovered, 12% had no major impact in their organization and 23% don’t expect to make a recovery at all.

This survey was carried out among a representative sample of over 900 Canadian managers and executives in March 2021 using both online and mobile/text interfaces. The sample is scientific and representative of all Canadian businesses.

The Business Monitor is Canada’s B2B omnibus service. Results from The Monitor are based on scientific samples of Canadian business leaders from the Modus Business Panel – the gold standard for B2B research in Canada.

Modus Research is a full-service research agency that provides clients with actionable feedback from Canadian enterprises based on scientifically representative samples.

We seek Safe Harbor.

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