Millions feeling pain on food costs; Pessimism persists
November 1, 2022
Over the last several months we’ve been measuring how Canadians are reacting to the higher rate of inflation and rising interest rates today. Here’s what we found in our latest tracking.
CURRENT PERSONAL ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
Today, 11% say the economic conditions for them personally are relatively good, while 52% things “could be better but are not really difficult.” Just over a third (37%) say things are really difficult for them. The proportion who says things are really difficult for them is unchanged over the last four months.
PERSONAL IMPACT OF INFLATION
Almost half (43%) say inflation has caused them to consider difficult choices to make ends meet, compared to 44% at the beginning of October and 46% in July. A bare majority – 53% – says “I notice it, but it hasn’t really been a challenge to live my life as I normally do.”
FOOD, ENERGY, & HOUSING COSTS
The biggest impact of rising inflation and interest rates is felt in the cost of food, with half of those interviewed saying things are a lot more difficult. A third say the same thing about housing and energy costs.
IS CANADA WORSE OFF WHEN IT COMES TO INFLATION?
When asked how Canada is faring compared to our major competitor countries, one in four (27%) think inflation is worse here, while 57% say things are about the same, and 16% say things are worse in other places. Marginal change in these views.
IMPACT OF FEDERAL POLICIES ON INFLATION
A majority of those polled (56%)) believe decisions made by the federal government in the last couple of years have made inflation worse than it would otherwise be, while 37% and 7% think Ottawa’s moves have lessened inflation.
WILL HIGH INFLATION ENDURE?
Over half (57%) believe “inflation is getting worse, and the future seems bad” while 33% think “inflation is high but is not getting worse” and 10% think “inflation is starting to ease, and things are starting to look better”.
“Inflation is making life difficult for millions and is the number one political issue in the country. The biggest impacts are felt in food, but millions are also finding it difficult to cope with their energy and housing costs. At this point, most people see Canada as suffering the consequences of a global problem, but also tend to believe that federal policies have caused more harm than relief. This is likely because of concerns about the size of public expenditures in recent years, and whether those have helped fuel the inflation that is being experienced today. Pessimism is a bit stronger than optimism right now, in terms of how things will work out, and the political consequences surrounding this issue are very significant.”
The survey was conducted with 1,500 adult Canadians, between October 22 to 26, 2022. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.
The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.6%, 19 times out of 20.
The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
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