Strategy

The CEO Poll: On recovery

Most Canadian CEOs think the country's economy is in good shape.

Business leaders give the federal mini-budget high marks.

The start of a global economic recovery is more than a year away, according to a group of Canadian CEOs polled recently by COMPAS Inc., but at least the Canadian economy is in relatively decent shape.

The consensus among the 114 respondents was the global economy would begin to turn around in July 2010. Most of them believe the Canadian economy is in “fair” condition, and that the dollar will hit US$0.87 by next year. Only 2% of the CEOs said the economy was in “excellent” shape, compared to 22% back in July 2006.

The Bank of Canada’s handling of the economic crisis received high marks from the panelists, who awarded the central bank a score of 77 out of 100. “Events in the Canadian economy are largely driven by events in the U.S. and global economy. To the extent that the Bank of Canada can influence these events nationally, they have done an adequate job,” wrote one respondent.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also received a high mark for his performance, earning a score of 70 out of 100. But if Michael Ignatieff were prime minister, the Liberal leader would not fare so well in terms of managing the economy, according to the CEOs, who gave him a score of 57.

A few respondents took issue with various government responses to the crisis. “Massive government bailouts of broken international corporations will only prolong the inevitable at taxpayer expense,” wrote one. “Let them go under and the market forces will sort things out a lot more quickly and effectively than anything government can do.”