Canadians want Bank of Canada to hold on to current rates


As inflation reaches a 31-year high, Canadians are more likely to want the Bank of Canada to stand-pat than continue to push up the cost of borrowing.

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds approaching half (45%) of Canadians say they would like the country’s central bank to hold firm at one per cent for its key benchmark rate and see how that affects inflation before taking further action. One-quarter (27%) would continue to increase the rate in a more aggressive attempt to mitigate rising prices, while half that number (13%) say that they would keep rates low as they worry about the impact any changes may have on the housing and investment markets.

While inflation is one economic bogeyman hounding the country, Canadians are facing other financial challenges. One-in-five (22%) say they have major debt concerns currently, while another two-in-five (42%) say this is a more minor problem, but still a source of stress. For the one-in-five who have heightened debt concerns, most say they are cutting back on “going out”, trimming phone and streaming expenses wherever possible, changing their diet to consume cheaper foods, and driving less.

As the BoC debates further rate hikes this summer to ease inflation, Canadians expectations are more negative now than they have been over the last decade. Nearly three-in-ten (28%) say that they expect to be worse off financially by this time next year – a seven-point increase in the number who said this last year, and the highest mark recorded in 13 years of tracking.

More Key Findings:

  • The percentage of Canadians who say they are worse off now than they were 12 months ago is also at its highest mark since 2010 at 36 per cent (34% in 2021, 32% in 2020).
  • The Angus Reid Institute’s Economic Stress Index finds 22 per cent of Canadians Struggling, 25 per cent Uncomfortable, 26 per cent Comfortable and 27 per cent Thriving.
  • One-third (32%) of Canadians express difficulty in paying for their housing costs, whether renting or paying a mortgage. This includes 93 per cent of those who are categorized at Struggling.
  • Men of all ages are considerably more likely than women to say that the Bank of Canada should increase interest rates further (37% to 17% overall).