Canadians have been dealing with the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis for more than a year now, and the latest report from the Angus Reid Institute indicates a third of residents now say they are either in “bad” or “terrible” financial shape.
Two-in-five, or 40 per cent, go even further, saying penny-pinching is no longer enough. They also report being forced to withdraw funds from savings accounts.
One-in-10 people, or 13 per cent, said they have even had to resort to borrowing money from friends and family, while 11 per cent said they have had to sell assets, and eight per cent said they were seeking to borrow money from banks.
Of those who said they were in “terrible shape” financially, the report found 94 per cent said they were struggling to feed their family.
Out of the 1,600 people from across the country surveyed online between March 30 and 31 for the report, Saskatchewan residents were the most likely to report cutting back on discretionary spending at 79 per cent. The report said 74 per cent of Alberta, Manitoba and Atlantic Canada residents reported the same, while 70 per cent of B.C. and Ontario residents did so.
Only 55 per cent of Quebec residents reported cutting back on discretionary spending.
Saskatchewan residents were also the most likely to have withdrawn money from savings accounts to cover bills at 61 per cent, while Quebec was the least likely to have done so at 30 per cent, while 42 per cent of B.C. residents responded they had done so.
The report also explored the impacts of grocery prices and pay increases on Canadians’ financial situations, and found that despite overall inflation in February falling to 5.25 per cent, food cost inflation remained high at 9.7 per cent. The report said 45 per cent of respondents reported it was very difficult or difficult to feed their household.
On the topic of pay increases, the report found 45 per cent of respondents had not received a pay increase over the past 12 months, with a higher percentage of part-time employee respondents reporting no pay increase.
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