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Pessimism Over Economic Recovery Grows In Canada’s Oil Province

The majority of people in Canada's oil-producing province of Alberta saw their economic fortunes worsened after the pandemic and the oil price crash, compared to a national average of 35 percent who consider they are worse off compared to last year, a new poll showed this week.

According to a new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, the negative impacts of the pandemic on personal finances and the economy have generally soured Canadians on their future financial outlook.

This quarter, 17 percent of Canadians said that their economic fortunes improved over the last year. But twice as many—35 percent—feel that their economic fortunes have worsened. The number of those negatively impacted rises to 51 percent in Alberta, the poll showed.

Residents of Alberta and Saskatchewan are most pessimistic about the coming year, while people in Ontario and Quebec are most optimistic, Angus Reid Institute said.

In Alberta, 30 percent of residents say that they believe they will be financially worse off in a year, compared to 26 percent who say they will be better off. The national average of those who say they will be worse off is 20 percent, according to the poll.  

"You are seeing pessimism among Albertans because they don't think there is a quick fix for the price of oil at this point," Ken Kobly, president of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce, told Calgary Herald's columnist Chris Varcoe.

The Angus Reid Institute poll was published on Tuesday, the day on which oil prices crashed as the market is increasingly jittery about the slower-than-expected pace of global oil demand recovery.  

In July, Alberta's economy was recovering from the previous months, but although many sectors, including oil production, saw growth month over month, they were still off from the same month last year, ATB Economics said on Tuesday.

"We still have a long way to go before we have made up the ground we lost during the lockdown," ATB Economics noted.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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