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Canadians concerned about rising living expenses

By Regis Phillips Mar 14, 2024 | 4:42 PM

With the rising cost of inflation and the introduction of skrinkflation, Canadians are growing more concerned about their ability to afford daily living expenses.

Narrative Research surveyed more than 1,200 Canadian adults in February to find out the extent to which high costs and limited availability are presenting a challenge to every province and age group.

CEO and Partner Margaret Chapman said they found 85 per cent of Canadians are concerned about the impact inflation will have on their household finances over the next 12 months, while 46 per cent are extremely concerned.

“Inflation concerns and financial pressure don’t just seem to be affecting parts of the country, it’s quite widespread,” said Chapman.

Image: Narrative Research

Chapman said being able to afford healthy food is a concern for three-quarters of the Canadians surveyed, seven in 10 have a concern for heating costs, with rent and mortgage payments being a worry for a similar proportion, and six in 10 residents are concerned about affording prescription medicine.

She also said 52 per cent of boomers are less concerned with rent or mortgage payments, whereas 80 per cent of the millennials surveyed are most concerned with this type of expense.

Image: Narrative Research

“Older people are less likely to be concerned about being able to pay for housing, most likely because more of them own their homes outright and are not facing the kinds of pressures that come with the variable rate mortgage or increases to rent payments,” Chapman added.

The survey details that affording rent or a mortgage is most prevalent in B.C., Ontario and the prairies, while residents in Atlantic Canada and the prairies have higher levels of concern about being able to afford heating costs.

Residents of Quebec are less concerned in general with each of the aforementioned living costs and have experienced slowed regional inflation so far in 2024.