Just as Canadians are feeling more upbeat about the country’s economy so far in 2016, Albertans and Maritimers continue to have a pessimistic outlook , according a new poll.
The Ipsos poll, provided exclusively to Global News, found 49 per cent of respondents rate the current economic climate in Canada as ‘good’ – up from a historic low of 36 per cent from a previous poll just last month.
The 13 point increase can be attributed to stabilizing oil prices and a stronger loonie which reached a nine-month high of 77 cents this week. The latest jobs numbers were also encouraging, as a surge in full-time and private-sector work helped drive down the unemployment rate from 7.3 per cent to 7.1 per cent.
“This is more about feeling than people having an objective look at what is going on.”
Previous Ipsos polling from March found Canadians were feeling pessimistic as confidence in the economy reached its lowest point since 1995.
Looking at the regional breakdown of the new data paints two very different economic pictures.
Residents in B.C. are the most positive, where 62 percent say the economy is good, followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba (55 per cent), Ontario (52 per cent) and Quebec (51 percent).
Meanwhile, Alberta continues to bear the brunt of the impact of low oil prices, with just 23 per cent of Albertans rating the national economy as good, even surpassing those in Atlantic Canada at 39 percent.
“Things have not been as bad as people were expecting them to be,” said Bricker. “If you live in Alberta they certainly are and we are seeing the numbers continue to be low.”
On Thursday, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador tabled two very different budgets to deal with their fiscal woes.
While Newfoundland introduced new taxes and fee hikes to tackle the province’s $1.8 billion deficit, Alberta’s budget offered up new money for families, for low-income Albertans, for small business and for investors and didn’t include new taxes to deal with a provincial debt that is expected to reach $58 billion by 2019.
Whether or not Canadians on the whole will continue to remain optimistic about the economy remains to be seen, said Bricker.
“There’s been a fairly big correction over the space of the last month,” he said. “We’ll see if this was just a bit of a sugar high or if people are actually starting to get more optimistic.”