CIBC poll reveals 2023 financial concerns of Canadian adults

Survey taken in mid-December shows that last year's fears are still dominating Canadian minds

CIBC poll reveals 2023 financial concerns of Canadian adults
Steve Randall

The start of a new year always has some elements of hope and renewal, but when it comes to financial concerns 2023 feels much like 2022.

A survey of Canadian adults conducted in December by CIBC reveals that the triple threat of inflation, interest rates, and recession continue to be their main financial concerns.

Inflation easily leads the pack though with 65% citing it compared to interest rates at 30% and recession at 24%.

The relatively small percentage who said recession was their biggest concern – even though 73% expressed concern about it – reflects strong sentiment that respondents believe they are financially prepared for the unexpected (62%) and have resilient enough finances to cope with recession (59%).

Debt and investments 

Despite worrying about the rising cost of living, consumers are prioritizing paying down debt (18%) over paying bills (17%) and boosting investments (14%).

More than half of poll respondents said that they need to get a better handle on their finances this year, while a quarter have taken on more debt in the past year with almost half citing the rising cost of living.

"The current economic environment has, understandably, prompted Canadians to re-assess their financial priorities for 2023," said Carissa Lucreziano, VP of CIBC Financial and Investment Advice. "When things feel uncertain, it's important for people to focus on what is in their sphere of control.”

Saving more

Among secondary priorities for finances, 25% of respondents plan to save more, almost as many want to avoid taking on more debt, and 18% aim to reduce discretionary spending.

However, 7 in 10 believe that uncertainty makes planning difficult and 8 in 10 have not had a goal planning session with a financial advisor in the last year.

Among those currently employed, 40% are concerned about their job security given the present economic environment.