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Economic outlook: COVID-19 stalls trend of growing financial optimism in Canada

Canadians continue to re-enter the employment market (250,000 more jobs were added across the country in August), but the negative impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on personal finances and the economy have soured Canadians on their future financial outlook.

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds that a three-year trend of increasing optimism among Canadians about what the coming year holds for them financially has ended abruptly.

Indeed, since 2018, the number of Canadians saying their standard of living will improve over the next twelve months had nearly doubled – from 16 per cent to 30 per cent. This quarter, however, the proportion saying this has dropped by five points.

One-in-five (20%) anticipate a worsening of their financial condition over the coming year – rising to 26 per cent among those with household incomes below $25 thousand per year.

These findings are made more troubling by the end of another trend. Since 2016, the proportion of Canadians saying they’re financially better off now compared to twelve months prior had risen steadily year over year, from 12 per cent to twice that (24%) halfway through 2020.

This quarter, 17 per cent of Canadians say their economic fortunes improved over the last year while twice as many say it worsened (35%). The number of those negatively impacted rises to 51 per cent in Alberta and 47 per cent among those whose household incomes are less than $25 thousand per year.

More Key Findings:

  • Among those who say they are worse off now than they were last year, fewer than one-in-five say they feel their conditions will improve over the course of the next 12 months
  • Alberta and Saskatchewan residents are most pessimistic about the coming year while people in Ontario and Quebec are most optimistic

Read the rest of the story here:


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