December 31, 2016 9:00 am
Updated: December 31, 2016 9:03 am

Goodbye 2016! Majority of Canadians think life will be better in 2017

WATCH ABOVE: New Ipsos poll says two thirds of Canadians thought 2016 was 'average' year (Dec. 22)

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2016 was a horrible year for many, but Canadians are anticipating 2017 to be much better for their families. That optimism is largely driven by hopes for an improved economy, according to a new Ipsos poll.

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The poll, conducted exclusively for Global News, found Canadians are feeling upbeat as they enter the new year; 85 per cent of respondents expect 2017 to be better for their job and three quarters expect 2017 to be ‘good’ for their personal financial situation.

Nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they expect 2017 to be ‘good’ for the Canadian economy, an improvement from the 44 percent who said that 2016 was ‘good’. Residents in British Columbia (63 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (63 per cent) are more optimistic for the economy than those living in Ontario (60 per cent ), Quebec (57 per cent), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (50 per cent).

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Albertans, impacted the most from struggling oil prices, were the least optimistic about the Canadian economy with just 48 saying they had a positive outlook

“In some parts of the country they didn’t experience a very good 2016,” said Darrel Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Affairs.

“There was a sense that it was as bad as it could get last year and hopefully [the economy] will be improving this year. But how much of this is hope and how much is this a real sense that things are going to improve is hard to say.”

There are some signs of hope for 2017.

The country’s unemployment rate dipped in November to 6.8 per cent, according to Statistics Canada, as the economy created 10,700 jobs. But there were 183,000 more jobs than at the same time in 2015. However, the quality of employment remained a concern, as most of the jobs created were part time, while the number of full-time jobs continued to fall.

READ MORE: 5 stories that moved Canadians in 2016

And although Canadians may have high hopes for an improved economy, many across the country believe they will be paying more in 2017 for the basic necessities like food, housing, and transportation, according to the poll.

Thirty-one per cent of respondents said they believe they will be paying more for food in 2017, while 64 percent said they would be paying the same. Thirty-two per cent said they would be paying more for housing, 27 per cent said they would be paying more for health and wellness and 28 per cent said they would be paying more for transportation and gas.

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Albertans (37 per cent) are most likely to anticipate spending more on food this year compared with 31 per cent in the rest of Canada.

“In places like Ontario, for example, where hydro costs are going up, people are feeling that the cost of living, the basics of living are getting more expensive,” Bricker said. “There is a general sense that 2016 didn’t live up to expectations and that 2017 will be better.”

When it comes to vacation and entertainment it appears younger Canadians will be spending more than their parents.

Millennials (age 18-34) say they will spend more on vacation in 2017 (30 per cent vs. 23 per cent of all Canadians), and entertainment (25 per cent vs. 16 per cent of all Canadians). Yet they say they will also save more in 2017 (46 per cent vs. 28 per cent of all Canadians) and put more money towards paying down debts, (38 per cent vs. 29 per cent of all Canadians), and

Canadians over the age of 55 are more likely to spend less on a vacation this year (28 per cent vs. 24 per cent of all Canadians), and 22 per cent say they will spend less on entertainment.

This Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 3,004 Canadians conducted between Dec. 15-21, 2016. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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