Canadians' serious concern and worry about economy in 2012 greater than 2008, shows Economic Club of Canada/Pollara poll

TORONTO, Jan. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadians are more worried than ever about the economy and its effects on them personally, with more believing their income will fall below the cost of living for the first time in 15 years. And in results from an Economic Club of Canada/Pollara Strategic Insights poll, 70% now believe Canada is already in a mild recession.

The exclusive online poll of 2,878 conducted in mid-December shows that optimism towards the economy has dropped to just 25%, compared to 36% in December 2010 and 54% in 2009, and belief Canada was recovering from the 2008 turmoil has completely reversed direction to a negative outlook.

"This is the most pessimism we've seen, except for briefly in 2008, since 1996," said Michael Marzolini, Chairman of Pollara Strategic Insights, in presenting the poll findings today at The Economic Club of Canada's annual Economic Outlook. "Canadians not only believe we're now in a recession, but expectations for the length of the recession are actually longer than they were in any year since 2008."

While Canadians feel Canada is about the best place to live under the current conditions, continuing worldwide economic turmoil is taking its toll on Canadians with 54% expecting the US economy to worsen and 63% feeling the global economy will worsen over the next year. Canadians' worry over the value of their investments and the stock market are increasing, with 41% now expecting the stock market will worsen in 2012, versus only 27% one year ago.

"We should also recognize the impact this economy is having on specific groups," said Rhiannon Traill, President and CEO The Economic Club of Canada. "42% of students are very concerned about paying for their education, 31% under age 25 are very concerned about finding a job, and 46% of women with children are very concerned about paying for their children's education."

Despite all indicators showing worry and concern about the economy, Canadians still see themselves as 'honest and trustworthy'. Asked if you saw someone drop a $100 bill and no one saw you pick it up, 86% of Canadians say they would still return it to its owner.

Some poll results available at www.pollara.com/eclub2012

SOURCE The Economic Club of Canada

For further information:

mmar@pollara.com or traill@economicclub.ca

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