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Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations

  • July 15, 2024

    Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations—Second Quarter of 2024

    Consumers’ perceptions of inflation are unchanged from a quarter ago, but their expectations for near-term inflation declined significantly. While both measures have improved substantially in recent quarters, they remain higher than they were before the COVID‑19 pandemic. Most consumers continue to think that domestic factors are contributing to high inflation. Sentiment remains subdued and unchanged from last quarter, as high inflation and elevated interest rates continue to constrain people’s budgets. Perceived financial stress remains high, most consumers continue to report spending cuts, and pessimism about future economic conditions persists. Canadians’ perceptions of the labour market have weakened this quarter, especially among private sector employees. Yet overall wage growth expectations reached a new survey high, driven by public sector employees.
  • April 1, 2024

    Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations—First Quarter of 2024

    Consumers believe inflation has slowed, but expectations for inflation in the near term have barely changed. Sticky inflation expectations may be due to elevated uncertainty about near-term inflation and still-high expectations for interest rates and rent costs over the next 12 months. Long-term inflation expectations have increased from low levels. Relative to last quarter, consumers now think domestic factors supporting high inflation, such as high government spending and elevated housing costs, will take longer to resolve. High inflation and high interest rates continue to impact household budgets and spending decisions, but consumers are less pessimistic about the economic outlook. After easing for several quarters, perceptions of the labour market have stabilized, and high inflation expectations continue to support stronger-than-average expectations for wage growth.
  • January 15, 2024

    Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations—Fourth Quarter of 2023

    Consumers believe inflation has fallen, but their expectations for inflation in the near term are showing little progress in returning to pre-pandemic levels. Slow progress may be due to persistently high inflation expectations for services such as rent. In addition, consumers increasingly think domestic factors, such as high government spending, are supporting high inflation, and they believe these factors will take longer to resolve than global factors. Consumers have adjusted their behaviour in response to prolonged high inflation—more people are paying attention to inflation and changing their spending habits. However, actions that may support inflation, such as seeking wage increases to offset it, are dissipating. The negative effects of high interest rates are broadening, and indicators of household financial stress are deteriorating. Consumers remain uncertain about the economic outlook, and this uncertainty is weighing on their spending plans. Workers think the labour market has weakened slightly. However, expectations for wage growth remain high, supported by cost-of-living adjustments in some workers’ wage contracts.
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