Canada

More Canadians worried about coronavirus affecting savings than were worried about 2008 financial crisis, poll finds

VANCOUVER—A higher proportion of Canadians are anxious about their economic situations during the COVID-19 outbreak than during the height of the global financial crisis in 2008, a new Research Co. poll has found.

Fifty-two per cent of Canadians say they have worried “frequently” or “occasionally” about the safety of their savings in the past month.

This is 15 percentage points higher than the results of a similar poll conducted by the Vancouver-based Vision Critical data firm in September 2008, following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers investment bank.

“This means that people are more worried about their finances now than they were about a global crisis caused by the collapse of financial markets,” Mario Canseco, president of Research Co. told the Star.

Half of Canadians have also been concerned about their investments over the past four weeks, while slightly fewer are anxious about unemployment affecting their household, such as not being able to pay their mortgage or rent.

This high level of economic uncertainty is very unusual, says Canseco, adding that polling at other times of the year rarely shows more than 20 per cent of Canadians worrying about paying their bills.

But at least it seems that Canadians are mindful that things could be worse.

A majority of Canadians (52 per cent) expect the domestic economy to perform better than Italy’s in the next six months.

And almost two-thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) say they plan to keep their current long-term strategy, which suggests that most expect stock markets to rebound.

Top economic concerns vary across the country; In Ontario, people are the most worried about the safety of their savings, Albertans are the most worried about unemployment affecting their household, and British Columbia residents are most worried about being able to pay mortgage or rent.

“This makes sense because here in B.C. we have been talking about the cost of housing for so long. It’s the number one concern here compared to other parts of the country,” Canseco said.

“This shows there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s a difficult situation, but levels of public satisfaction with Canadian government handling of COVID-19 remain high.”

The Research Co. results were based on an online survey of 1,000 adults from March 30 to April 1, weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Meanwhile, a Monday survey showed Canadian consumer confidence posting its biggest ever weekly drop as the COVID-19 crisis shut down much of the nation’s economy.

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a composite gauge based on telephone surveys of households, declined sharply for a second week, sinking to the lowest level since the Great Recession more than a decade ago.

The plunge coincided with the start of extensive nationwide lockdowns that have triggered mass layoffs.

At the same time, there are signs that efforts by policy-makers to mitigate the impact with new spending and stimulus are working — the sharp decline in sentiment is largely driven by worsening expectations about the outlook for growth rather than concerns about personal finances.

Get the latest in your inbox

Never miss the latest news from the Star, including up-to-date coronavirus coverage, with our free email newsletters

Sign Up Now

Every week, Nanos Research surveys 250 Canadians for their views on personal finances, job security and their outlook for both the economy and real estate prices.

With files from Bloomberg

Football news:

There is a real chance that 50-60 clubs will go bankrupt. The owner of Huddersfield about the consequences of the pandemic
Valverde about the game with Manchester City: we Want to play so that we can go further. Real is ready to do anything for this
Great selection from Roma: KAFU opens up in the box and waits for a pass, but instead Totti and Batistuta score masterpieces
Sabitzer has been exposed to coronavirus in April
In the 90s, the Russian club played in the Finnish championship: the players carried cigarettes, the President went on the field. It ended because of the default
Flick about Holand: it is the first season, so it is too early to compare it with Levandovsky
Felix sprained a knee ligament in training. This is his 3rd injury of the season at Atletico