Is Canada in a recession? Vast majority of Canadians say ‘yes’

With the cost of almost everything on the rise due to inflation, a new poll reveals how dejected many Canadians are feeling about the state of the economy.

The survey from Pollara finds 83 per cent of respondents believe the country is now in a recession. It’s the most negative view people in this country have held of the economy since the 2008 financial crisis, according to the poll’s past economic outlooks.

Ontarians are among the most concerned with 85 per cent believing a recession is in our midst. Only Nova Scotian respondents hold a more pessimistic view.

Nearly four-in-ten Canadians (38 per cent), say they are losing ground when it comes to their personal finances — a 13-point increase since last year. The majority of respondents (52 per cent) are worried about their financial situation compared to only 41 per cent a year ago.

Nearly half of respondents (46 per cent) say the soaring price of food is their major source of economic stress with one-third (34 per cent) saying their biggest stress comes from housing expenses. The cost of gas was the third most common concern.

The results suggest more than half of Canadians think the economy will only worsen over the next 12 months. The results found a similar view was held about the global economy, with less than half believing the U.S. economy and the stock market will continue to get worse.

The one bright spot in the results was the view of Canada’s job market. Only 20 per cent of respondents believe they, or a member of their household, are at risk of losing their job in the coming year.

The Canadian labour market ended the year on a strong note as the economy added 104,000 jobs in December, showing no signs of the slowdown many economists have been anticipating.

Statistics Canada reported the unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.0 per cent last month. This marks the third decline in the unemployment rate in fourth months, edging it closer to the record-low of 4.9 per cent reached in June and July.

Wages continued to grow at a year-over-year pace above five per cent for the seventh straight month, up 5.1 per cent. The wage growth still lags the country’s inflation rate, which was 6.8 per cent in November.

The online survey from Pollara randomly select more than 4,000 Canadians over the age of 18. The poll was conducted between Dec. 8 and Dec. 20.

With files from The Canadian Press

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