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From Angus Reid Institute

Nine-in-ten Canadians now tightening household budgets

Majority say interest rate increases will negatively impact their own finances

September 29, 2022 – What began at the beginning of the year with a slight twinge for many Canadians over rising prices has led to a place where nearly every adult in this country is spending less and bracing for more financial pain as inflation maintains a tight grip on the nation.

The latest data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds nine-in-ten Canadians (88%) now reporting belt-tightening measures, an eight-point increase from August.

They are most likely to be cutting back on discretionary spending (66% report this) and delaying major purchases (50%) in the face of continued financial uncertainty. Troublingly, fully one-quarter (26%) now say they are deferring contributions to their retirement or savings, up from 19 per cent who said the same six weeks ago.

The Bank of Canada announced another interest rate hike in early September – up 75 basis points to 3.25 per cent – as the battle against inflation rages on. Canadians are divided about what they would like to see going forward, with one-in-three (33%) saying they would hold the rate firm now, and one-in-five saying it should continue to rise (20%) or be reduced (23%).

More unity is noted on the financial implications of increasing interest rates. A firm majority say that the rise in rates will cause them more financial pain over the coming months. At least half of Canadians across all income levels say this, though those earning more than $200,000 as an annual household income are most likely to say the impact will be positive (15%).

In the last few months, have you or your household done any of the following to cut back on spending? (All Respondents, n=5,014)

More Key Findings

Worse Off

Approaching half of Canadians (46%) say they are worse off now than they were at the same time last year when it comes to their own finances. This represents a 12-year high.

Feeding Households

Half (51%) say it is difficult to feed their household, a proportion that has persisted throughout 2022. This number rises to seven-in-ten (68%) among those with household incomes below $50,000.

Holidays Delayed, or Cancelled

Ahead of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, two-in-five Canadians (40%) say they are delaying or cancelling travel plans due to financial concerns.

Survey Methodology

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Sept. 19 – 22, 2022 among a representative randomized sample of 5,014 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.

For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here.

To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here

To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.

Image – cottonbro, Pexels

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From the Angus Reid Institute, Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research.

For detailed breakdown of the results, visit angusreid.org

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