Mood of Canadians Part Two: Younger adults, in the 18 to 34 age range, are more inclined to say they will do something expensive than people older than 55
Dec 29, 2021
Some people learned to bake bread. Others got new dogs. But one of the biggest trends in pandemic coping mechanisms was the major household purchase, often in the form of a renovation.
Some people bought second properties, driving the price of rural cottages and cabins to record levels. But mostly they stayed put and did renovations with an eye to a new way of life, in which home now encompasses work, and sometimes even school.
The continuing waves of the COVID pandemic seem to have exhausted that impulse, according to a new national poll.
The price of lumber has long since collapsed back to normal levels, and two thirds of Canadians say they are not planning on any big purchases in the next year. Only 31 per cent of Canadians say they are likely to buy something major before the end of 2022, according to the poll for Postmedia by Leger.
The mood in Canadian homes seems to have shifted from surviving a single societal cataclysm into a new normal that, spending-wise, looks pretty much like the pre-pandemic old normal.A solid 89 per cent of Canadians are worried about inflation and the rising costs of goods and services.A slim majority expect their household’s financial situation to stay roughly the same over 2022, and fewer than one in five expect it to improve.Younger adults, in the 18 to 34 age range, are more inclined to say they will do something expensive than people older than 55, a result that mirrors their general optimism, according to the poll.
Andrew Enns, executive vice president of Leger, which conducted the poll, said the optimism of people in higher income households tends to track what the virus is doing.But for lower income households, the main factor is affordability, and if groceries keep going up in price, that can start looking as risky as a COVID infection. People who make less than $40,000 a year tend to be significantly more worried than Canadians at large about the rising costs of goods and services.Regionally, worry about inflation was lower in Quebec than the rest of Canada, and Quebecers were twice as likely to say they are not worried.
But optimism is also higher for people who make more money, and nearly one third of those who earn less than $40,000 a year expect their household’s financial situation to decline over the next six months.
The poll was conducted online between Dec. 10 and 13, with responses from 1,532 adults, weighted for age, gender and region according to the 2016 census. Because they were not randomly selected, a true margin of error cannot be calculated, but a randomized poll with a similar number of respondents would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Asked how likely they were to make a major purchase such as a new vehicle, house, or major trip, Atlantic Canadians were least likely to say “very likely,” at six per cent, rising to 14 per cent in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. But Atlantic Canada also had the lowest percentage to say it is not all likely, at 26 per cent, compared to ten points more in the other provinces.