Canadian Business: expectations of a recession are far from peak levels

Survey results: Canadian business and the likelihood of recesssion

In the latest survey from The Business Monitor, released by Modus Research, Canadian executives were asked the likelihood of the Canadian economy falling into recession over the next 12 months. This question was asked prior to and early in the COVID pandemic as well.

Key findings in this release:

  • Concerns about recession over time
  • Regional variations
  • Risks to the Canadian economy

Pre-pandemic vs. pandemic vs. post-pandemic fears of recession

Many Canadian business leaders are concerned about a looming recession but concerns are well below the levels seen early in the pandemic

Since the spring of 2020, there has been an large drop off in the number of Canadian business leaders who think Canada is heading towards a recession. Although coverage of the issue in the national media has suggested that fears over recession run high, they are well below the levels seen early in the pandemic.

That said, concerns about a recession remain significantly above pre-COVID levels and very few see it as unlikely.

Regional variations on recession fears

Expectations for a recession vary significantly by region.

With a majority in both Alberta and the Prairie provinces see it as highly likely, busines leaders from these regions have much higher expectations for a recession than elsewhere in Canada. In all regioins, a small minority of fewer than 10% see a recession as unlikely.

2022 Canadian business: risks to the economy

Risks facing the Canadian economy

It is important to recognize what might be driving concerns about a recession.

Canadian business leaders see many risks facing the economy with household debt, labour shortages, and large companies having too much control over markets topping the list. Concerns about inflation and interest rates also run high. Interestingly, business leaders are relatively unconcerned about Canada’s real estate market.


The survey was conducted from August 19 to September 5 using the Modus Business Panel – Canada’s only purpose-built, probability based B2B research panel. Because the Panel is built using random probability telephone sampling, it is valid to cite the margin of error for this survey. The survey is based on a representative sample of 600 Canadian managers and executives and has a margin of error of +/- 4.0% pts 95 times out of 100. The survey data is weighted by size and region according to the latest Statistics Canada data to help ensure representativeness for Canadian enterprises.