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Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations

The Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations (CSCE) is a quarterly survey aimed at measuring household views of inflation, the labour market and household finances, as well as topical issues of interest to the Bank of Canada.

The CSCE also provides data by age, geography, income and education.

Note: The survey results summarize opinions expressed by the respondents and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Bank of Canada. The method of sample selection ensures a good cross-section of opinion, which is representative of the Canadian population.

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Latest Survey of Consumer Expectations

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.
October 16, 2023

Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations—Third Quarter of 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.
June 30, 2023

Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations—Second Quarter of 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.

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