Toronto—Canadians are optimistic about Canada’s economic performance, but a new study finds many are anxious about how the rest of the world’s financial challenges could affect their portfolios.
A BMO Harris Private Banking study found almost three-quarters of Canadians (72 per cent) are worried global economic troubles may impact Canada’s relative prosperity, and 41 per cent of Canadians believe the possibility of the United States slipping into another recession represents the number one threat to Canada’s economy.
Another 23 per cent of Canadians feel uneasy about the sovereign debt crisis in the Euro Zone, according to the study, while eight per cent are concerned about slowing growth in China and India.
Seven per cent worry about how tensions in the Middle East may affect Canada’s financial markets.
“Though the most recent recession is a few years behind us, the tentative economic recovery in the United States still troubles Canadian investors,” BMO Asset Management chief investment officer Paul Taylor said in a statement. “Those concerns are warranted, because Canada is the United States’ largest trading partner and it’s only natural that we will be affected by what happens south of the border.”
Taylor noted the annual value of Canada’s bilateral goods and services trade with the United States is approximately $600-billion.
The U.S. is the largest foreign investor in Canada and the most popular destination for Canadian investment abroad, BMO said, with American direct investment in Canada in 2009 close to $288.3-billion.
Canadian direct-investment holdings in the U.S. reached $261.3-billion in the same period, according to the financial firm.
The study also found the majority of Canadians (83 per cent) are proud of the country’s overall economic performance relative to the economies of the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world, while 74 per cent are optimistic about Canadian financial markets.
The online survey was conducted by Pollara between June 14 and June 18 with a sample of 1,000 adults.