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Toronto, June 4, 2021

In the latest survey from The Business Monitor, Canadian executives were asked the likelihood of the COVID outbreak being contained and safely returning to normal activities over the next 12 months. This question was asked in October and December of 2020, and again in April 2021. Optimism over a return to normality has more than doubled since October. However, opinions are equally divided on likelihood, with most business leaders only cautiously optimistic.

Optimism about a return to normality is growing slowly.

Optimism over a return to normality has more than doubled since October, albeit still below a quarter of business leaders. Most are at least cautiously optimistic on a return to normality, while a sizable minority remain strongly pessimistic.

Economic confidence is a strong predictor of optimism.

Business leaders who believe it will be safe to resume normal activities are notably more confident about the Canadian economy than those who are pessimistic about a return to normal. Fully one half of the optimistic group see the Canadian economy improving over the next year, while just over a quarter of the pessimistic group think likewise.

Business confidence is also closely tied to expectations for returning to normal.

Canadian executives who expect a return to normality are also substantially more confident about their business prospects, with more than half saying their economic outlook will improve over the next year. On the other hand, business leaders who believe a return to normality is unlikely are much less confident in their business outlook.

Very few of those optimistic about going back to normal do not expect a full recovery.

In keeping with the higher economic and business confidence of those expecting a return to normality, only a tiny minority (7%) do not expect their organization to fully recover to pre-covid conditions.