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Two-thirds of Canadians fear impact of U.S. ‘fiscal cliff’: survey

This Nov. 16, 2012 file photo shows President Barack Obama, accompanied by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, speaking to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Close to two-thirds of Canadians polled in a new study fear the Canadian economy will suffer if the "fiscal cliff" problem in the U.S. isn't resolved.

"Along with high debt levels and a slowing real estate market in Canada, the fiscal cliff situation in the U.S. is giving Canadians another reason to worry about the Canadian economy," Sun Life Global Investments chief investment officer Sadiq Adatia said about the results of the survey, conducted for Sun Life Financial by Ipsos Reid.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said on Tuesday Canada would be threatened with the possibility of another recession if U.S. President Barack Obama and Congress are unable to cut a deal to avoid major tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in Jan. 1.

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The poll found that 63 per cent of Canadians interviewed are concerned that Canada's economy will be hurt by the impact of the "fiscal cliff."

The survey also indicates that 54 per cent of those polled are not better off financially than they were a year ago.

Other findings: Ontarians – 31 per cent – and Quebecers – 28 per cent – are the more likely to be pessimistic about the Canadian economy's performance in 2013. They were the only provinces in the survey above the national average of 26 per cent.

Sixty per cent of Ontarians polled and 57 per cent of Atlantic Canadians interviewed say they aren't better off financially than they were a year ago.

The poll was conducted between Nov. 20 and 27, 2012. A sample of 1,277 adult Canadians from the Ipsos Reid online panel participated in the interview.

A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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