Record-high inflation preventing most Canadians from purchasing a home, car or big vacation

The summer of sticker shock continues as the Bank of Canada throws larger and larger interest rates in the way to slow down runaway inflation.

New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians’ keeping their wallets closed to major purchases as inflation gobbles up more of their budgets on essentials such as groceries and gas.

Fully three-quarters of Canadians say it’s a bad time to make a major purchase such as a home, car, renovation, or big vacation. This represents a significant increase from two years ago, when 56 per cent said the same. In that same time period, the number of Canadians who disagree and say it’s a good time to spend on big ticket items has halved.

This comes as a significant minority of Canadians say they are in dire financial straits. Approaching three-in-ten (28%) say they are either barely keeping their head above water or worse when it comes to their finances. That figure has climbed 10 points since July 2020.

As inflation reaches highs not seen in decades – June’s figure of 8.1 per cent was the highest since January 1983 – all eyes are on the Bank of Canada as it attempts to correct course. Most Canadians 71%) say they are following the BoC’s actions closely. However, many don’t like what they’ve seen. More than half (53%) of Canadians say they don’t have confidence the Bank is making the right decisions in its fight against inflation. One-third (33%) have more faith.

Despite the apolitical nature of the institution, the BoC has become a political story in recent months as governor Tiff Macklem was singled out by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre during his leadership campaign. Indeed, past CPC voters show less faith (26% confident) than other partisans in the Bank’s ability to steer the nation out of this crisis. Lack of confidence (47%) is more common than not (34%) among those who voted NDP in last fall’s election as well. Belief in the Bank is higher among past Liberal (47%) and Bloc Québécois (53%) voters.

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