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BMO Canada Day Study: True Patriot Love! Canadians Are Proud of Country's Economy and Bullish About Their Investments

- Vast majority are proud of Canada's overall economic performance

- Almost three-quarters of Canadians are more optimistic about Canada's financial markets relative to global markets

- Half expect their investment portfolios to grow by Canada Day 2013

- Possibility of a U.S. recession viewed as the most likely threat to Canada's ongoing prosperity



TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 28, 2012) - With Canadians set to celebrate the country's 145th birthday with fireworks and backyard barbeques, a BMO Harris Private Banking study has found that they have tremendous pride in and optimism for Canada's strong economic performance and financial outlook.

According to the study:

  • The majority of Canadians (83 per cent) are proud of Canada's overall economic performance compared to the economies of the United States, Europe and other parts of the world.
  • Three-quarters (74 per cent) are optimistic about Canadian financial markets. However, more than 40 per cent have a pessimistic view about what the future holds for global financial markets.
  • Half of Canadians anticipate that their current investments will grow in value over the next year.

"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, BMO Harris Private Banking. "While the country does face a variety of economic challenges, Canadians have much to celebrate this Canada Day."

Canadians also feel confident about the performance of several domestic industry sectors, with 49 per cent expecting the energy sector to grow in the coming years and 48 per cent expecting the same from the information technology sector.

"As evidenced by recent world headlines, volatility will continue to characterize the financial markets for the foreseeable future," said Mr. Taylor. "Canada's current market conditions should prompt investors to take a look at specific sectors for their strong yield and defensive total return characteristics. These include consumer staples, telecom, utilities and health care."

Areas of concern to Canadians:

Notwithstanding the positive sentiment, there remain some areas of concern among Canadians. According to the study, 72 per cent are worried about how economic troubles in other parts of the world may impact Canada's relative prosperity:

  • The possibility of the United States slipping into another recession is the primary concern; with 41 per cent of Canadians listing this as the number one threat to Canada's prosperity
  • Respondents were also concerned about the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone (23 per cent), slowing growth in China and India (eight per cent) and tensions in the Middle East (7 per cent).

Canadians "bullish" on their investments:

Looking ahead, half of Canadian investors expect their investment portfolios to increase in value by Canada Day 2013. More than one-third (34 per cent) of this group predict modest gains of between one and five per cent. Meanwhile, only 12 per cent feel that their investments will decrease over the next year.

For more information, please visit http://www.bmo.com/harrisprivatebanking

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The online survey was conducted by Pollara with a sample of 1000 adults, between June 14 and June 18.

Media contacts:
Amanda Robinson, Toronto
416-867-3996
amanda.robinson@bmo.com

Ronald Monet, Montreal
514-877-1873
ronald.monet@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
604-665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com