As the federal government prepares to announce its 2019 budget, Canadians are anxious about the economy, according to a new Angus Reid poll.
The poll found that four in 10 Canadians expect the economy to get worse over the next year, while 24% expect it to improve and 39% expect it to stay the same.
In a similar poll in 2016, before the Liberals announced the first budget of their term, Canadians were most concerned about the economy in general. Today, Canadians’ concerns have become more specific, but many of them “are economic in nature,” Angus Reid said in a statement. These include housing affordability, income inequality, energy and natural resources, taxes and health care.
Additionally, most Canadians feel that the next 12 months will be a bad time to make a big-ticket purchase (55%) — and a good proportion of that group (22%) said it would be a “very bad time.” Survey respondents with Conservative leanings were significantly more pessimistic in their economic outlook than those inclined to vote Liberal. The NDP base polled somewhere in between.
There was an upward trend in the number of Canadians who think their standard of living has worsened in the past year (34%, compared to 26% in 2017). People in Alberta and Saskatchewan are feeling the hardest hit; half said their standard of living has decreased in the past year. While Albertans were more optimistic of a turnaround, 35% of respondents in Saskatchewan said they expected things to worsen.
Alberta and Saskatchewan were also the provinces most anxious about household job losses; six in ten respondents were worried about losing jobs, compared with 48% of Canadians in general.