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Rising cost of living top of mind for Canadians in 2020: CIBC

Alicja Siekierska
Shopping cart in a supermarket. Shopping, cooking, and price concept.
A majority of Canadians are worried about the rising cost of living going into 2020, a new survey has found. (Getty Images)

A majority of Canadians are worried about the rising cost of living going into 2020, a new survey has found.

According to a CIBC poll of 1,515 Canadians conducted in early December, 71 per cent of Canadians are concerned about the rising cost of household goods in 2020, representing a 7 per cent jump from last year.

The survey also found that fewer Canadians are feeling optimistic about their financial situation. Just 32 per cent said they were hopeful about their finances going into 2020, down from 41 per cent a year earlier.

“Whether it's daily household items or unexpected events, expenses can fluctuate for reasons that are often outside of our control. The best way to buffer against uncertainties is to have a financial plan,” Jamie Golombek, CIBC’s managing director of financial planning and advice, said in a statement.

More than half of Canadians – 55 per cent – also said they are worried about a potential recession in 2020. Other financial concerns going into the new year include a low Canadian dollar (30 per cent), low wages and stagnant growth (29 per cent) and household debt (26 per cent).

The survey is the latest to show that Canadians are growing increasingly concerned about rising costs, including food. Another poll released earlier this month found that 87 per cent of Canadians are concerned that food inflation is outpacing wage growth. Another report from Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph found that food prices are expected to jump up to four per cent next year, meaning the average Canadian family will spend $487 more on groceries in 2020.

The CIBC poll also found that, for the tenth year in a row, getting debt under control is the top financial priority for Canadians going into 2020. Twenty-one per cent of Canadians cited paying down debt as the top financial concern, followed by keeping up with bills and getting by (18 per cent), growing investments or wealth (13 per cent), saving for a vacation (8 per cent) and saving for retirement (8 per cent).

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