Concerns over rising inflation deepen Canadians' financial woes

Newly released poll reveals growing majority worry that basic goods are way out of their budget

Concerns over rising inflation deepen Canadians' financial woes

Inflation in Canada continues to accelerate, with the latest statistics from February showing prices heating up across a broader range of expense categories. That’s putting the country's economy – and its households – under even more strain as it recovers from a global pandemic.

According to a new Ipsos poll for Global News, six out of ten Canadians (60%) are afraid (30% strongly/30% slightly) that they would not be able to feed their families, a level that has risen dramatically (+16 points) since November 2021.

Over half of Canadians (52%) believe they are already struggling or are on the verge of doing so, and that they cannot afford fast rising inflation rates. The other half of Canadian households (48%) can more easily adjust to rising costs.

Based on the November data, the majority of people aged 18-34 (63%) and 35-54 (67%) are concerned about feeding their families, while those aged 55 and over are less concerned (52%). Those who have children (68%) are substantially more concerned than those who do not (57%).

Concern is also strongest among those earning less than $40K per year (72%) and, while those earning $100K+ are less anxious (48%) than those earning less, this is still a significant increase from November.

Furthermore, nearly nine out of ten people (85%, +7% since November 2021) are afraid that inflation will make ordinary items expensive (46% very/39% somewhat).

Among women, 88% are more concerned than men 82%, and those under 54 (88% 18-34 and 88% 34-54) are more concerned than those over 55 (81% 55+).

The fear of not being able to afford basic necessities extends to fuel, with 68% anxious (36% very/32% somewhat) that they will not be able to afford it.

Three-quarters of Canadians (73%, 34% very/39% somewhat) are concerned that interest rates may rise faster than they can adjust, indicating that the situation may be out of their control.

For many Canadians, however, just over half (54%) are anxious that they will not be able to afford a vacation this summer (24% very/30% somewhat), maybe anticipating that the rate of inflation will drop by the summer.

Moreover, one in every four Canadians (24%) says they are already out of money and cannot afford to pay extra for basic essentials.

Those aged 35-54, as well as young folks aged 18-34 (22%), are most likely (30%) to think they're already on the verge of being unable to tolerate increasing expenditures, while those aged 55+ are less likely (21 %).

These numbers are the same as those from November 2021. So, while fear about inflation has grown, the real impact on household finances does not appear to have altered considerably in the recent four months.