Canadians are optimistic that 2024 will see improved finances

But the sentiment is not universal as many are fearing worsening conditions

Canadians are optimistic that 2024 will see improved finances
Steve Randall

The start of a new year often has a feeling of renewal and optimism about it, but when the economic challenges of the previous year remain, this can be a hard state to achieve.

Canadians taking part in a new poll from Angus Reid Institute are more optimistic than not about the prospects for 2024 with 44% expecting more good than bad, 40% expecting an average year, and just 17% expecting things to worsen.

Much of this sentiment relates to health and quality of life, but 21% of respondents believe their personal finances will be worse this year (6% said a lot worse) and this is led by younger Canadians with 24% of under 35s expecting their financial situation to be worse in 2024 than last year.

Overall, the largest single share (40%) believes that their finances will be the same this year as last, 31% expect improvement, and 8% think their situation will be a lot better. Men under 55 are most optimistic with around half of respondents from this cohort expecting improvement compared to 36% of men aged 55 or above.

Women of core working age are also showing higher-than-average levels of pessimism about their personal finances with almost a quarter of those aged 35-54 saying they will be worse this year compared to 18% of men of the same age. However, 39% of women under 55 are expecting their finances to improve this year compared to 27% of women over 55.

Lower income households

Lower income households continue to find things tough and 36% of those with an income of less than $25K expect their finances to be a lot worse this year, along with 22% of those in the next income band up to $50K. Households with an income of $150K-200K are least likely to say things will be a lot worse this year (9%).

Finances remain a major factor in Canadians’ stress levels and the survey found that younger people (18-34) are more likely to expect worsening stress this year (27%) compared to around 20% of those aged 35-54 and 13% of over 55s.