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Majority say the economy is not growing. Canadians are divided on which course of economic action government should take

April 22, 2017

In the third wave of the Campaign Research Poll, an online omnibus opinion survey conducted among 1,970 adult Canadians, more than half of Canadians think the economy is not growing (54%), compared to just more than a third who think it is (35%). One tenth are unsure (11%). Perception that the economy is growing is characteristic of younger groups (25 to 34 - 38%) and the oldest (38%), males (37%) rather than females (33%), in BC especially (44%), but also in Toronto (39%), among Liberals (52%) but less so among Conservatives (26%), and among the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 43%).

 

Split opinion between continuing deficit spending and curtailing it

 

When asked which course of action the government should take on the economy, Canadians

are split between continuing with deficit spending to stimulate growth (23%) and limiting

spending, even if it risks growth (25%). Fewer want more drastic measures, such as imposing

austerity to eliminate the deficit (18%). About one fifth want to do something else (17%) and a

similar proportion have no opinion (17%).

 

Among the majority who think the economy is not growing, curtailing spending is preferred

(31%), and austerity is popular (20%), but a significant minority still see the need for continued

spending (16%). Among those who see the economy growing, deficit spending is more popular

(37%), but a fifth still think it’s time to stop spending (20%).

 

Deficit spending is especially popular in Quebec (28%), and less so in the prairies (19%). Limiting

spending is popular in Alberta (30%) and the prairies (30%) and imposing austerity measures

gains support in Ontario and BC (19% each). Liberals favour spending (40%), while

Conservatives are most likely to favour cutting spending (38%) and imposing austerity measures

(26%).

 

“It’s clear not all Canadians see the economy in rosy terms right now, despite the enthusiasm

of the federal government. While there is some agreement on this, there is no agreement on

the best course of action to take. Some see more spending as the answer, while others think

it’s time to pull back,” said Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research. Eli may be reached at

eyufest@campaignresearch.ca or at (647) 931-4025 ext 109.

 

METHODOLOGY

 

This poll was conducted between April 3 and 11, 2017, among an online panel of 1,970 adult

Canadians, weighted to reflect characteristics of the general population. A probability sample of

this size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2%, 19 times out of 20.

 

 

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