Fiscal anxiety is still the main burden of a lot of Canadians

by Ephraim Vecina05 Jul 2019

Fiscal and housing anxieties continue to cast a gloomy pall over Canadian households, despite an overall stronger national economy.

According to a recent poll commissioned for CBC News, the leading source of worry among Canadians is a fear of the impact of housing and living costs. Fully 32% of respondents cited these factors as their primary areas of concern.

Other worries stemmed from climate change (19% of respondents), health of self/family members (10%), and immigration (8%).

Furthermore, 35% of respondents stated that employment and the economy are the most important current election issues. This, despite Canada’s resurgent employment strength, as demonstrated by the addition of 27,000 new jobs nationwide in May and 106,500 in April.

The results came in the wake of a May survey conducted by Genworth Canada in collaboration with Royal LePage. This study found that as much as 57% of first-time home buyers nationwide are fearful about missing out on their desired home purchases because of not having enough for down payment.

In particular, consumers in Toronto (68% of respondents), Montreal (60%), and Vancouver (58%) held this nagging worry.

Manulife chief economist and head of macroeconomic strategy Frances Donald said that these results only prove that affordability is still way out of reach for most people in Canada’s largest markets.

“So while the data, as a whole, still looks fairly solid, it’s completely understandable, even from someone who spends all day looking at numbers ... why consumers and households might be feeling a little bit nervous,” Donald told CBC News.


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