56% of Canadians can’t keep up with the rising cost of living

According to the firm, which surveyed 2,279 adult Canadian members of the Angus Reid Forum between August 8 and 10, 56% of respondents said they were struggling to keep pace with inflation and high interest rates that force them to tighten their belts more and more.

Four in five respondents, or 80%, said they had to cut spending in recent months to keep up with inflation.

To help pay for basic necessities, more than 40% of those surveyed also said they had delayed major purchases, in addition to limiting their car trips in recent months.

Thirty-two percent have canceled or reduced their travel plans, while more than 25% have chosen to reduce their charitable donations to make ends meet.

Inflation also affects savings. Nineteen percent of respondents said they defer contributions to their tax-free savings account and retirement savings plan in order to make it to the end of the month.

Many respondents reduce their savings to make ends meet.

Photo: iStock

In their study, the pollsters offered respondents a scenario in which they would receive an unconditional donation of $5,000. At least 10% said they would use it to meet immediate financial obligations, while 38% would use it for long-term needs; 43% would save the money, while 9% would take the opportunity to make an expensive purchase.

But if the opposite happened – that is, if they had to incur an unexpected expense of $1,000 or more – half said they wouldn’t be able to afford the expense. Thirteen percent also said that any unforeseen expenses would be too importantunderlines the polling institute in its report.

The soaring prices of energy, consumer goods, services and credit that have been plaguing the country for several months are worrying Canadians. Despite a decline in the Consumer Price Index to 7.6% last July from 8.1% in June – unheard of in the country for 39 years – three-quarters of respondents to the Angus poll Reid said they were stressed about their financial situation.

Inflation may have posted its first decline in a year in Canada last month, but food prices remain 10% higher than last year, as does the price of a liter of regular gas, which is still fluctuating. between $1.60 and $2.

Businesses benefit?

Interestingly, a high proportion of those polled in this study share the belief that grocery chains are taking unfair advantage of inflation to raise prices and increase profits – a phenomenon known in English as greedflationwhich could be translated into French as greediflation.

According to Angus Reid, 78% of respondents believe this is currently the case.

But that’s not true, according to major grocery chains, including Empire and Loblaws, who say the increases in profits they are seeing are instead due to efficiency gains.

However, on August 11, the publication of a study by the Institute for Socioeconomic Research and Information (IRIS) pointed out that the profits of Canadian companies have never been so high in more than 20 years, in a context where inflation has been on a sharp rise for several months.

L’IRIS claimed to have observed an increase of more than 10% in the profits of Canadian companies over the last four quarters. Which is much higher than the increase in wages. According to the authors of the study, Canadian companies seem to have largely taken advantage of the context of inflation to raise their prices, a maneuver that would have allowed them to reap record profits while contributing to the acceleration of inflation.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted its online survey of 2,279 adult Canadian Angus Reid Forum members between August 8 and August 10, 2022. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

With information from Jenna Benchetrit, CBC News