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Most Canadians pessimistic about economy, international travel in the future: survey – Global News

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New research suggests that while Canadians feel COVID-19 will have negative consequences on mental health and the economy, they feel it will be good for online shopping and public mask-wearing once the pandemic is over.

The findings are from a phone survey by the Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research at the University of Saskatchewan.

Read more:
Canada still ‘a long way off’ from COVID-19 economic recovery, experts say

It asked about 1,000 people during the first two weeks of March what kind of long-term impacts they thought the health crisis would have on different areas of life.

“Given that vaccinations are now starting to roll out, people are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said research director Jason Disano.

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“It seems like a great opportunity to really get a sense of how people are feeling in terms of what life may or may not look like post-COVID.”

Specifically, people were asked to imagine a world where COVID-19 was under control, and to pick whether they thought the virus would have a positive or negative effect or no impact at all on a certain category.


Click to play video: 'Report: COVID-19 variants heighten risk of hospitalization and death'



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Report: COVID-19 variants heighten risk of hospitalization and death


Report: COVID-19 variants heighten risk of hospitalization and death

Researchers said the survey had a 3.1 per cent margin of error, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20 nationally.

Some of the results weren’t surprising, said Disano, like those about mental health and well-being.

About 72 per cent of respondents predicted COVID-19 would have a negative effect, compared to 18 per cent who felt it would be positive.

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More than 60 per cent also felt pessimistic about how the pandemic will affect the economy and international travel, while 52 per cent said it would be bad for personal finances.

“No one really knows what the economy is going to look like post-pandemic,” said Disano.

He said some of the data he found most interesting were about children’s education. Despite 63 per cent of people feeling like the virus will have positive changes on the delivery of online education, 54 per cent thought it would be bad for children’s learning.

Read more:
Canadian economy posts worst showing on record in 2020

“I do think there’s a bit of concern around — are the students who are either K-12 or post-secondary, are they going to be behind where they could be or should be, at this point in their educational careers?” said Disano.

On the brighter side, he pointed out that 61 per cent of people thought COVID-19 would be good for the willingness of people to wear masks in public after the pandemic.

“I would assume people, when they were responding to this question, were thinking about things like the influenza virus,” said Disano.

“Perhaps masking may become not necessarily widespread, but perhaps more common.”

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The survey also said 76 per cent of people felt the pandemic would be positive for online shopping, and 72 per cent reported the same for alternate workplace arrangements.

Opinions on other topics were more mixed. About 37 per cent of people thought there will be both good and bad changes to domestic travel because of the virus, while 23 per cent said they didn’t know.


Click to play video: 'COVID-19 Pandemic: Online sales proving crucial for small business survival'



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COVID-19 Pandemic: Online sales proving crucial for small business survival


COVID-19 Pandemic: Online sales proving crucial for small business survival – Nov 28, 2020

Overall, Disano said, the research indicates people feel differently about how the pandemic will impact their lives, and there’s a lot of uncertainty about what communities will look like once they are no longer threatened by the virus.

“I think there’s going to be a degree of onus on policy-makers, on politicians, on public-health officials to provide more information to Canadians in terms of what they see post-pandemic Canada looking like.”

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Economy

CANADA STOCKS – TSX ends flat at 19,228.03

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* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s TSX falls 0.00 percent to 19,228.03

* Leading the index were Corus Entertainment Inc <CJRb.TO​>, up 7.0%, Methanex Corp​, up 6.4%, and Canaccord Genuity Group Inc​, higher by 5.5%.

* Lagging shares were Denison Mines Corp​​, down 7.0%, Trillium Therapeutics Inc​, down 7.0%, and Nexgen Energy Ltd​, lower by 5.7%.

* On the TSX 93 issues rose and 128 fell as a 0.7-to-1 ratio favored decliners. There were 26 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 183.7 million shares.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Toronto-dominion Bank, Nutrien Ltd and Organigram Holdings Inc.

* The TSX’s energy group fell 1.61 points, or 1.4%, while the financials sector climbed 0.67 points, or 0.2%.

* West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 0.44%, or $0.26, to $59.34 a barrel. Brent crude  fell 0.24%, or $0.15, to $63.05 [O/R]

* The TSX is up 10.3% for the year.

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Canadian dollar outshines G10 peers, boosted by jobs surge

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Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar advanced against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Friday as data showing the economy added far more jobs than expected in March offset lower oil prices, with the loonie also gaining for the week.

Canada added 303,100 jobs in March, triple analyst expectations, driven by the recovery across sectors hit by shutdowns in December and January to curb the new coronavirus.

“The Canadian economy keeps beating expectations,” said Michael Goshko, corporate risk manager at Western Union Business Solutions. “It seems like the economy is adapting to these closures and restrictions.”

Stronger-than-expected economic growth could pull forward the timing of the first interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada, Goshko said.

The central bank has signaled that its benchmark rate will stay at a record low of 0.25% until 2023. It is due to update its economic forecasts on April 21, when some analysts expect it to cut bond purchases.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.2530 to the greenback, or 79.81 U.S. cents, the biggest gain among G10 currencies. For the week, it was also up 0.3%.

Still, speculators have cut their bullish bets on the Canadian dollar to the lowest since December, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. As of April 6, net long positions had fallen to 2,690 contracts from 6,518 in the prior week.

The price of oil, one of Canada‘s major exports, was pressured by rising supplies from major producers. U.S. crude prices settled 0.5% lower at $59.32 a barrel, while the U.S. dollar gained ground against a basket of major currencies, supported by higher U.S. Treasury yields.

Canadian government bond yields also climbed and the curve steepened, with the 10-year up 4.1 basis points at 1.502%.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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Canadian dollar rebounds from one-week low ahead of jobs data

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Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) -The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, recovering from a one-week low the day before, as the level of oil prices bolstered the medium-term outlook for the currency and ahead of domestic jobs data on Friday.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.4% higher at 1.2560 to the greenback, or 79.62 U.S. cents. On Wednesday, it touched its weakest intraday level since March 31 at 1.2634.

“We have seen partial retracement from the decline over the last couple of days,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets.

“With oil prices where they are – let’s call WCS still at roughly $49 a barrel – I still think CAD has room to strengthen over the medium term and even over a one-week horizon.”

Western Canadian Select (WCS), the heavy blend of oil that Canada produces, trades at a discount to the U.S. benchmark. U.S. crude futures settled 0.3% lower at $59.60 a barrel, but were up nearly 80% since last November.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high as Treasury yields fell following softer-than-anticipated labor market data, while the U.S. dollar fell to a two-week low against a basket of major currencies.

Canada‘s employment report for March, due on Friday, could offer clues on the Bank of Canada‘s policy outlook. The central bank has become more upbeat about prospects for economic growth, while some strategists expect it to cut bond purchases at its next interest rate announcement on April 21.

On a more cautious note for the economy, Ontario, Canada‘s most populous province, initiated a four-week stay-at-home order as it battles a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadian government bond yields were lower across a flatter curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year fell 3.3 basis points to 1.469%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith;Editing by Alison Williams and Jonathan Oatis)

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