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Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

More Canadians believe the national economy will worsen over the next 12 months, according to a new Royal Bank of Canada survey.

It says 20 per cent of the more than one-thousand people surveyed in March expect to see a worsening compared to 13 per cent in February.

RBC also says Canadians remain split on the state of the economy, with 54 per cent believing it is good and 46 per cent describing it as bad.

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Over all, the March RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index remained virtually flat at 108 points, down from 109 in February.

The bank also suggests a significant number of people are anxious about jobs, with 22 per cent per cent of those polled saying a member of their household is worried about a job loss or layoff. That's down from 25 per cent last month.

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RBC also says 33 per cent of Canadians polled think their financial situation will improve in the next three months, up from 30 per cent in February.

In addition, 44 per cent of Canadians surveyed expect their personal economic situation to improve over the next year.

"With solid consumer spending, historically low interest rates and improved credit markets, an economic recovery is under way," said RBC chief economist Craig Wright.

"However, Canadians may be worried about impending interest rate hikes and the strength of the Canadian dollar, which may be responsible for the slight drop in the Index and their weakening expectations of economic performance in both the short- and long-term."

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