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Canada is evenly divided on whether the economy is good or bad: survey

The Bank of Canada building is pictured in Ottawa on September 6, 2011.
The Bank of Canada building is pictured in Ottawa on September 6, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canadians have a more negative view on the economy than last year, a new survey says.

The survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, polled 20,132 people in 16 countries.

It says Canadians are now split on how we feel, with 48 per cent of respondents saying they feel “good,” and another 48 per cent saying they feel “bad” about it.

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It’s only the second time public opinion on the economy has dropped below 50 per cent since the Pew Research Center began polling our country in 2002. (The other time was in 2009, during the global financial crisis.)

Canadians’ opinion on the economy has dropped below 50%, according to the Pew Research Center.
Canadians’ opinion on the economy has dropped below 50%, according to the Pew Research Center.

Worldwide, views on the economy differ dramatically. Americans, Japanese and many Europeans are glum about their national economies. By contrast, Chinese, Indians and Australians feel positive about theirs.

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Just 44 per cent of Americans rated the U.S. economy as “good,” although that proportion has risen steadily from 18 per cent in 2011. Since that year, the U.S. unemployment rate has tumbled from 9 per cent to 4.9 per cent.

Politics plays a role in how Americans assess their economy: Just 37 per cent of U.S. conservatives give the economy high marks, versus 45 per cent of moderates and 55 per cent of liberals.

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China’s economic growth has been decelerating for five years, but 87 per cent of Chinese still describe their economy as good. So do 80 per cent of Indians and 57 per cent of Australians.

People in Japan and in many European countries regard their economies as poor.

No one was more miserable than the Greeks: Just 2 per cent rated Greece’s economy as good, versus 97 per cent who saw it as bad. No surprise: The Greek economy has shrunk 26 per cent since 2007, and unemployment is 23.5 per cent.

But within Europe, there were exceptions: Germans, Swedes and Dutch rank their economies highly. European men tend to rate their national economies higher than women do.

The survey was taken from April 4 to May 29, which means that the results emerged before Britain voted June 23 to leave the European Union. That vote rattled financial markets and magnified uncertainty about the outlook for the economies of Britain and continental Europe.

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