October 16, 2023 Consumers’ perceptions of current inflation remain elevated and are diverging from actual inflation. Perceptions of high inflation are also leading to persistently high expectations for inflation over the next 12 months. Consumers’ expectations for interest rates one year from now also remain high, and many consumers believe that the impacts of higher interest rates on their household spending are far from over. Homeowners with a variable-rate mortgage are more likely than other consumers to report being worse off due to high interest rates. Consumers’ plans to purchase services, such as vacations or concerts, are more widespread than plans to make major purchases of goods that are likely to be financed with loans, such as vehicles or appliances. Workers are reporting signs of job market cooling, such as more time spent looking for a new job, but they remain confident about the labour market.
Find Bank of Canada publications by keyword, author, content type, JEL code, topic or publication date.
June 30, 2023 Inflation expectations for one to two years ahead have come down again but remain well above their levels from before the COVID-19 pandemic. The higher cost of living is the most pressing concern for consumers, and along with elevated interest rates, continues to constrain most households’ spending. Homeowners who are planning to renew their mortgage over the next two years and who expect significantly higher payments are likely to plan spending cuts. Some households though are starting to think the worst is behind them. Consumer confidence about the future of the economy has improved alongside their lower inflation expectations. Expected lower interest rates and strong immigration, which boosts housing demand, are behind consumers’ view that housing market will increase over the next year. Workers remain confident about jobs.
April 3, 2023 Results in the first quarter of 2023 show that consumer expectations for inflation one to two years ahead fell but remain elevated, particularly for services. Consumers, especially indebted households and equity-deserving groups, are facing financial pressures and limits on their spending due to high inflation and increasing interest rates. Consumers expect to spend less on discretionary services, such as travelling and eating out. Canadians continue to anticipate a recession in the next 12 months. Many are uncertain about where the economy and job markets are going. Despite this, workers still see the labour market as strong and expect wage growth to increase.
January 16, 2023 Results of the fourth-quarter survey show that consumers have reduced their purchases of a broad range of goods and services in response to rising inflation and increases in interest rates. High food prices are a particular source of frustration for households. Most consumers anticipate a mild or moderate recession in the next 12 months. And although labour markets continue to be strong, some early signals suggest consumers think this strength will fade. Meanwhile, short-term inflation expectations remain elevated this quarter, but consumers have varied opinions about where inflation will be in five years. More people than before the pandemic expect deflation.
October 17, 2022 This survey took place between August 2 and August 23, 2022. Follow-up interviews took place in September. Expectations for inflation one to two years ahead have continued to rise because consumers anticipate supply chain disruptions and elevated oil prices will persist. In contrast, expectations for inflation five years ahead have eased to near pre-pandemic levels. Still, consumers are more divided this quarter about where inflation will end up in the long term.
July 4, 2022 This survey took place between April 28 and May 13, 2022. Follow-up interviews took place in June. Consumers’ expectations for inflation have risen, alongside concerns about prices for food, gas and rent. Short-term expectations are at record-high levels. Long-term inflation expectations increased significantly in the second quarter of 2022, returning to the levels they were at before the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people believe the Bank of Canada can achieve its inflation target. However, some think the process of bringing inflation down will be difficult for the Bank of Canada. Expectations for higher inflation and rising interest rates weigh on consumer confidence. People expect that credit conditions will worsen and wage growth will not keep up with inflation. Flexible work arrangements could attract more people into the labour force.
April 4, 2022 This survey took place in mid-February 2022 before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Follow-up interviews took place in March and provide some insight into how consumers perceive the effects of the conflict. Short-term inflation expectations have reached record-high levels because of supply disruptions and the COVID 19 pandemic. Consumers think the Russian invasion of Ukraine will make high inflation worse. Despite greater concerns about inflation today, longer-term expectations have remained stable and are below pre-pandemic levels. This suggests that long-term inflation expectations remain well anchored and that survey respondents believe the current rise in inflation will not last. Although workers anticipate significant price increases in the near term, they believe their wages will increase only modestly. This is a source of dissatisfaction for them. Despite expecting higher interest rates, consumers continue to anticipate strong spending growth on a broad range of goods and services.
January 17, 2022 This survey took place in November 2021 before the Omicron variant of COVID-19 began spreading broadly in Canada. In December, the number of COVID-19 cases rose dramatically and governments began to reimpose containment measures. Many Canadians think inflation will be high over the next two years because of supply disruptions caused by the pandemic. They are more concerned about inflation now than they were before the pandemic and believe it has become more difficult to control. However, near-term inflation expectations are not feeding into expectations for wage growth or longer-term inflation. Showing confidence in the labour market, workers are more likely than ever to want to change jobs.
October 18, 2021 This survey took place in the third quarter of 2021, after most Canadians had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and as the Delta variant was beginning to spread more broadly in Canada. Results suggest that consumers plan to increase their spending significantly but remain cautious because of the Delta variant. Canadians think inflation will be higher in the near term due to supply disruptions, but they do not expect this situation to last. Although expectations for labour market conditions improved again, visible minorities, Indigenous people and people with disabilities are showing signs of vulnerabilities. Canadians are not expecting significant wage gains despite recent improvements in the labour market and perceptions of higher inflation.
July 5, 2021 This survey took place during the third wave of the COVID‑19 pandemic and coincided with the acceleration of vaccination efforts. Like the previous four surveys, this survey included questions on the impact of COVID‑19 and the measures to contain its spread. This survey also asked respondents how they are planning to use the extra savings they may have accumulated during the pandemic.