Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

January 30, 2010 09:08 ET

CME-Long US Recovery Will Define New Canadian Normal: Survey

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 30, 2010) - Americans are suffering from a much bigger recession hangover than their Canadian neighbours, essentially defining a new economic normal moving forward for both business partners, according to a public opinion survey released today.

"The conventional wisdom is that the recent recession hit the American consumer much harder that than the Canadian consumer. While this study bears that out, it also indicates that the difference in the two countries is more one of degree than direction," explained Allan Gregg, chair of Allan Gregg Strategies and Decima Research, who conducted the four-day survey for Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC).

"While economic concerns and the impact of the recession may have been deeper in the US, Canadians in no way have been immune to the effects of the downturn. As the rest of the study will show, while the material effect of the recession may not have been as great in Canada, psychologically, Canadian consumers continue to bear the scars of 2009. All indicators are that their outlook going forward will be very different than it was in the past."

Highlights include:

- The recession has had a significant impact on both Canadian and American consumers and economic concerns continue to dominate the public opinion agenda in both countries.

-- The economy and jobs are cited as the most important problem facing Canada and the United States by a plurality of citizens in both nations.

-- A majority in both countries continue to believe that the recession is NOT over yet and that we still have a "long way to go before we hit bottom" in terms of job loss.

- While the direction of sentiment is the same in both countries, the findings make it clear that the intensity of consumer anxiety is much deeper in the United States.

-- More than twice as many Americans as Canadians report that they are "very" or "somewhat worried" about their family's financial situation.

-- Similarly, almost twice as many Canadians (63%) as Americans (36%) express confidence that they will be able to retire with enough income and assets to last the rest of their lives.

"This reinforces the sentiment of Canadian business that it's going to be a long, slow recovery and moving forward, business as usual is simply not an option," said Jayson Myers, president & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. "When one customer purchases 72 per cent of your products, your economic well-being hinges on the economic health of that consumer. With such a long-lasting economic hangover south of the border and increased protectionism, the onus is on Canadian companies to define a new normal, their own future moving forward."

"In this new normal, Canada's consumer confidence is going to be essential in helping to rebuild manufacturing in this country," said Nancy Croitoru, President & CEO of Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC). "Consumers will drive increases in employment and industry growth by the products they choose and the innovations they demand from Canadian manufacturers."

CME and FCPC commissioned Allan Gregg Strategies and Harris Decima to conduct a comprehensive, nation-wide study to better understand the consumer mindset, coming out of the recession. Canadian field work for this study was conducted between January 14th and 17th and consisted of 1000 completed interviews among adult Canadians and will yield results that can be projected to the total population within a margin of error of + or - 3.1%. Many of the questions probed in this study were replicated from media polls that were conducted in the United States at the end of 2009. In this first release of results, the Canadian versus the American consumer experience is compared.

The complete results of the will be released at CME's Economic Recovery Summit in Ottawa, February 2. For more information visit

Contact Information

  • CME
    Jeff Brownlee
    613-238-8888 ext. 4233
    Catherine Baker
    416-510-8024 ext 2276