Money causes stress for three-quarters of Canadians: survey
The majority of Canadians say they have cut spending in recent months, and two-thirds of Canadians say they are stressed about money, according to data released by the Angus Reid Institute.
The research also revealed that more than half of Canadians cannot afford the cost of living.
“Four in five say they have reduced spending in the past few months by cutting their discretionary budget, delaying a major purchase, driving less, reducing travel and charitable giving, or postponing saving for the future, » says a report from the independent research agency.
In a study of 2,279 respondents, 42% said they put off a major purchase, 41% said they drove less, and 57% said they cut back on overall discretionary spending.
Some Canadians, however, experience more financial hardship than others.
According to Angus Reid, Canadians in Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada are 50% more likely than those in other parts of the country to “use a sudden gift of $5,000 to pay off their debt” if they receive one.
The nonprofit’s research also found that people in Alberta and the Maritimes are more likely than those in other parts of the country to say they’ve cut spending in recent months.
According to the results, older Canadians report being in a better position to “endure unexpected expenses”.
In the study, three in five respondents over the age of 54 said they could spend $1,000 more this month, « compared to two in five among their younger peers. »
« People aged 35 to 54 are the least likely to be able to comfortably afford additional expenses, » the report read.
With a recent drop in the cost of gasoline and food across the country, economists pointed to a deceleration in year-over-year inflation in Canada, which slowed to 7.6% in July.
Experts also revealed that June likely saw a peak in the headline inflation rate, with a nearly 40-year high of 8.1% resulting from monthly increases since June 2020.
Statistics Canada released data that showed a 35.6% increase in gasoline prices in July compared to a year ago, significantly lower than the 54.6% increase in fuel prices in June.
But Canadians are still feeling the burden of inflation, with food prices up 9.9% in July from a year ago and that feeling could worsen as fears of recession mount.
RBC predicts the Canadian economy is on track for a « mild recession » in 2023, due to labor shortages, unemployment insurance claims and the delayed economic ramifications of pandemic restrictions resulting in GDP growth of less than from 1 %.
Although this result is uncertain, Angus Reid reports that consumer confidence is taking a hit, with 76% of respondents in their study saying they were “money stressed”.
With inflation hovering above the Bank of Canada’s 2% target, the central bank is preparing to make its next interest rate announcement on September 7th.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey August 8-10, 2022 with a representative random sample of 2,279 adult Canadian Angus Reid Forum members. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.”