Nearly Two-Thirds (63%) of Canadians Are Worried that America’s ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Will Hurt the Canadian Economy

One-Quarter Have Pessimistic View (26%) of the Canadian Economy in 2013

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Toronto, ON – When thinking about America’s ‘fiscal cliff’, which is a package of tax increases and spending cuts due to be implemented by the U.S. government at the beginning of the new year, many are worried that this will have negative repercussions on Canada’s economy, according to a new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Sun Life Financial. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Canadians are ‘worried’ (10% very/53% somewhat) that America’s ‘fiscal cliff’ will hurt the Canadian economy, while two in ten are ‘not worried’ (21%) or they don’t know (17%) how it will affect the Canadian economy.

Ontarians are most concerned as seven in ten (70%) are ‘worried’ (15% very/55% somewhat) about America’s ‘fiscal cliff’ hurting Canada’s economy, followed by residents of British Columbia (64%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (64%), Atlantic Canada (60%), and Alberta (58%). Quebecers (54%) are the least ‘worried’ (7% very/47% somewhat) about the impact of America’s ‘fiscal cliff’ on the Canadian economy.

Canada’s Economy in 2013: Half-Full or Half-Empty?

With such drastic economic measures looming from Canada’ neighbours to the south, this could increase an already pessimistic view that many Canadians currently have about our own economy. One-quarter (26%) of Canadians are ‘pessimistic’ about the Canadian economy in 2013, although half (46%) are ‘optimistic’. One-quarter (26%) are ‘neither’ optimistic nor pessimistic about the Canadian economy going into 2013.

Ontarians (31%) and Quebecers (28%) are most ‘pessimistic’ about the Canadian economy in 2013, followed by Atlantic Canadians (25%), British Columbians (23%), Albertans (19%), and residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (18%). Albertans (60%) are most likely to be ‘optimistic’ about the Canadian economy going into the new year, followed by residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (56%), British Columbia (51%), Ontario (47%), Atlantic Canada (44%), and Quebec (39%). One-third (33%) of Quebecers are ‘neither’ optimistic nor pessimistic towards the Canadian economy in 2013, making them the most likely to be indifferent.

Personal Finances No Better Than Last Year

A majority (54%) of Canadians believe that they aren’t better off financially than they were a year ago, while four in ten (41%) say they are doing better financially than a year ago. Only 5% don’t know if they’re financially better or worse off compared to last year.

Six in ten (60%) Ontarians believe they are not better off financially than they were a year ago. Atlantic Canadians (57%) are also more likely than the national average to believe they aren’t financially better compared to a year ago, followed by Quebecers (52%), residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (51%), Albertans (50%), and British Columbians (49%). Albertans (46%) and British Columbians (46%) are most likely to think they are better off than a year ago, followed closely by residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (44%), Quebecers (42%), Atlantic Canadians (39%), and Ontarians (35%).

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between November 20th to 27th, 2012, on behalf of Sun Life Financial. For this survey, a sample of 1,277 adult Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.7 percentage points had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

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Nearly Two-Thirds (63%) of Canadians Are Worried that America’s ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Will Hurt the Canadian Economy


Sean Simpson
Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs