More than Half Canadians Are Concerned About Prime Rate Increase


Toronto, September 18th – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ amongst 1350 Canadian voters, more than half (BTM2: 51%) say that they are at least somewhat concerned by the recent increase in the prime interest rate by the Bank of Canada. A quarter (TOP2: 26%) say that they are unconcerned by the announcement. Just over two in ten (21%) say that they are neither concerned nor unconcerned by the increase in the prime interest rate. Few (2%) say they do not know whether to be concerned or unconcerned. Respondents most likely to say that they are at least somewhat concerned by the increase in the prime rate include those aged 34 and younger (60%), the least wealthy (57%), earning $20,000-$40,000 (56%), or earning $80,000-$100,000 (56%), living in the prairies (MB/SK) (55%) or Alberta (58%), supporting the Bloc (66%), and the least educated (57%). Respondents most likely to say that they are at least somewhat unconcerned by the increase in the prime rate include those aged 55-64 (28%) or 65+ (31%), the most wealthy (33%), living in Ontario (31%), supporting the Green Party (35%), with a college/university (27%) or post-graduate degree (30%). Few see the rate increase positively, though plurality say it will have no effect Four in ten (BTM2: 40%) say that the rate increase will have a negative effect on their finances, a worsening of 6 points from August (August 16th: 34%). 12% of this proportion saying the negative effect will be extreme. Just about a sixth (TOP2: 17%) say it will have at least a somewhat positive effect on their finances, which is down 3 points since August (August 16th: 20%). More than a third (38%), the plurality, say that that the rate increase won’t have a positive nor negative effect on their finances. Few (6%) say they do not know how the increase will affect their finances. Respondents most likely to say that the increase will negatively affect their finances include those aged 35-44 (48%) or 45-54 (47%), earning $60,000-$80,000 (46%), $80,000-$100,000 (46%), or the most wealthy (43%), living in Alberta (52%), supporting the Green Party (49%), and with some college or university (45%). Respondents most likely to say that the increase will positively affect their finances include those aged 65+ (26%), the least educated (20%), or with a post-graduate degree (18%). A quarter have no emergency savings When asked how many months of emergency savings they had saved up, a quarter of Canadians (26%) said they had no emergency savings. Just under one in ten (9%) said they had more than nothing, but less than a month, while just over one in ten (11%) said they had one month. Almost one-sixth (14%) said they had two-three months of savings, while just under one in ten said they had four-five months (9%). (13%) said they had six months to a year of savings, while one-sixth said they had one year or more (15%). Few (5%) said they do not know. Respondents most likely to say they had no emergency savings include those aged 34 and younger (35%), the least wealthy (56%), living in the Atlantic (41%), supporting the Green Party (48%), and the least educated (39%). “Concern is growing over the second interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada, with more people saying the increase will negatively affect their finances than before,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research. “But of primary concern should be that a quarter of Canadians say they have no emergency savings. It seems that while the economy may be booming, which is causing rates to rise, some are still being left behind.”

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