Almost four in five Canadians say the country is already in recession or drawing close to one, while more than half say they have cut down on spending over the past month, a new survey finds.
The Maru Public Opinion poll shows 55 percent of Canadians believe the country is now in a recession, while 23 percent believe an economic downturn will hit in the next three months, adding up to a total of 78 percent of respondents reporting recession concerns.
Released on May 26, the survey also found roughly two-thirds (62 percent) of Canadians believe the economy is moving on the wrong track.
Respondents who said the country is already in recession make up the majority of the population in every province except Quebec (46 percent), with the largest majority in Atlantic Canada, followed by those in Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia (57 percent). Saskatchewan and Manitoba trailed closely with a 56 percent majority.
The poll defined recession as “a period of temporary economic decline in a country during which trade and industrial activity are reduced.” It noted a recession is often characterized by a drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for two consecutive quarters (six months), wherein consumers would likely set stricter priorities and reduce their spending, while businesses would cut costs, reduce prices, and postpone new investments.
Roughly one-third (32 percent) of respondents said their economic situations have “become worse over the last month,” compared with less than one in ten (8 percent) who said they are financially better off. The majority (60 percent) said things have remained largely the same for them.
Regardless of their pocketbook assessments, the Maru poll shows over half (52 percent) of the respondents are setting tighter priorities and have been cutting down on spending over the past month.
Residents most likely to be cutting back hail from Alberta (62 percent), followed by those in Atlantic Canada (57 percent), Manitoba and Saskatchewan (53 percent), Ontario (52 percent), British Colombia (47 percent), and Québec (46 percent).
Older Canadians aged 55 and above (55 percent), and people with the lowest incomes, earning less than $50,000 per annum (60 percent), were most likely to report curbing their spending.
Concerns about Canada entering a recession also derive from several other recent economic developments, including an inflation rate of 6.8 percent in April 2022—a 31-year high, according to data from Statistics Canada.
The Maru poll was conducted between May 20 and May 23, 2022, surveying 1,517 adult Canadians who are Maru Voice Canada panelists.