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From Angus Reid Institute

Three-quarters of Canadians say now is not the time to make a major purchase

Lack of confidence in Bank of Canada outweighs faith in institution to correct course on inflation

July 28, 2022 – The summer of sticker shock continues as the Bank of Canada throws larger and larger interest rates in the way to slow down runaway inflation.

New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians’ keeping their wallets closed to major purchases as inflation gobbles up more of their budgets on essentials such as groceries and gas.

Fully three-quarters of Canadians say it’s a bad time to make a major purchase such as a home, car, renovation, or big vacation. This represents a significant increase from two years ago, when 56 per cent said the same. In that same time period, the number of Canadians who disagree and say it’s a good time to spend on big ticket items has halved.

This comes as a significant minority of Canadians say they are in dire financial straits. Approaching three-in-ten (28%) say they are either barely keeping their head above water or worse when it comes to their finances. That figure has climbed 10 points since July 2020.

As inflation reaches highs not seen in decades – June’s figure of 8.1 per cent was the highest since January 1983 – all eyes are on the Bank of Canada as it attempts to correct course. Most Canadians 71%) say they are following the BoC’s actions closely. However, many don’t like what they’ve seen. More than half (53%) of Canadians say they don’t have confidence the Bank is making the right decisions in its fight against inflation. One-third (33%) have more faith.

Despite the apolitical nature of the institution, the BoC has become a political story in recent months as governor Tiff Macklem was singled out by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre during his leadership campaign. Indeed, past CPC voters show less faith (26% confident) than other partisans in the Bank’s ability to steer the nation out of this crisis. Lack of confidence (47%) is more common than not (34%) among those who voted NDP in last fall’s election as well. Belief in the Bank is higher among past Liberal (47%) and Bloc Québécois (53%) voters.

Good time or bad time to make a major purchase?

More Key Findings

Bank of Canada

While faith in the Bank of Canada is higher among past Liberal and Bloc voters, still at least two-in-five among those voting groups are not confident in the BoC’s strategy to fight inflation.

British Columbia

Those in B.C. are most likely to say now is a good time to make a major purchase at 18 per cent. Notably, however, two-thirds (67%) in that province disagree.

Manitoba

Two-in-five in Manitoba (40%) say they are in bad or terrible shape financially, the largest proportion in the country to say this.

Survey Methodology

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from July 18-20, 2022 among a representative randomized sample of 1,606 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 – Chris Lawton/Unsplash

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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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