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Canadians proud of economy, worried about U.S.: Survey

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Canadians continue to be strong believers in the country’s economy and financial outlook, but are most concerned about the impact of a potential U.S. recession.

A new survey by BMO Harris Private Banking says 83 percent of Canadians are proud of the Canadian economy when compared to the U.S. and Europe.

And while markets have come off sharply since April, about half of those surveyed say they continue to believe their investments will grow over the next year.

About 74 percent of the respondents also say they are optimistic about Canadian financial markets.

But Canadians are far less positive when it comes to the global financial system, with more than 40 percent of those surveyed saying they are “pessimistic” on what the future holds.

“While the rest of the world stands on shaky economic ground, Canada continues to demonstrate a strong financial position that instills investor confidence,” said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Private Banking. “While the country does face a variety of economic challenges, Canadians have much to celebrate this Canada Day.”

One of the biggest concerns among Canadians is the health of the U.S. economy, its largest trading partner. More than 40 percent of respondents said the No. 1 threat to Canada is the possibility of the U.S. slipping into another recession.

The euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis, falling real estate prices and slower economic growth in China and India were also of concern to Canadians.

The survey comes as the Canadian unemployment rate sits at 7.3 percent, while oil prices have fallen around 20 percent in the past two months to about $80 US a barrel amid persisting economic uncertainty.

The online survey was conducted by Pollara with a sample of 1,000 adults, between June 14 and June 18.

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