NANOS survey compares Canadians’ concerns about rising costs of goods and debt
With persistent inflation raising the pressure for central banks like the Fed to raise policy rates, Canadians are thinking about the potential impact of higher interest on their finances.
In a national survey commissioned by Bloomberg News and conducted by Nanos in December 2021, 1,005 Canadians, aged 18 years and older, were asked, “If interest rates increase in 2022, will that change have a positive, a somewhat positive, a somewhat negative, negative or no impact on your personal finances?”
The results were:
- 8% said that an increase would have a positive impact on their financial status;
- 14% said it would have a somewhat positive impact;
- 29% felt it would have a somewhat negative impact;
- 22% predicted a negative impact on their financial status;
- 21% felt there’d be no impact at all; and
- 6% were unsure.
The total net score of the responses was -28.6.
British Columbia (BC) had the highest turnout of respondents reporting a positive/somewhat positive impact, with 23.8% predicting that outcome. That was followed closely by Ontario (23.7%), and Quebec at 18.1%. Survey-wide, 23.5% of male respondents said they’d be positively/somewhat positively impacted, compared to the 20.9% of female respondents who said the same.
On the other hand, 51.4% of respondents from Quebec considered an interest-rate increase to have a more negative/somewhat negative impact on their finances, followed by Ontario with 48.8%, and BC at 48.1%. A little more than half of male respondents (52.6%) predicted a negative/somewhat negative impact, while 49.0% of female respondents reported the same.
“Canadians are twice as likely to say if interest rates increase in 2022, it will have a negative or somewhat negative impact rather than a positive or somewhat positive impact on their personal finances,” the report said. “Younger Canadians (18-34) are more likely to say that increased interest rates would have a negative or somewhat negative impact on their personal finances (63%) than older Canadians (41% of those 55 plus).”
For the survey question, “What are you worried about more, higher interest rates or higher prices for everyday goods like food and gas?”, the responses were:
- 10% were more worried about higher interest rates;
- 87% were more concerned about higher prices for everyday goods like food and gas; and
- 3% are unsure
In BC, 14.5% of participants identified higher interest rates as their greater worry; 10% from Quebec and 8.5% from Ontario had the same priority. Gender-wise, 10.9% of male respondents considered higher interest rates as their greater worry, while only 8.5% of female participants considered the same.
Worries about higher prices for everyday goods were overwhelmingly present across Ontario (87.8%), Quebec (86.8%), and BC (80.6%). Female respondents were higher at 88.1% compared to 86.1% of male respondents for the same classification.
“Canadians are nearly nine times more likely to say they are more worried about higher prices for everyday goods rather than higher interest rates. This is consistent across demographics,” the report said.