Economic Confidence: January 2024

January 17, 2024

This year has been difficult for Canadians due to high inflation and interest rates. However, as economic conditions improve and there is some sign of confidence recovery, some Canadians still find themselves in a precarious economic situation, incurring more debt since the holiday season.

Leger regularly conducts an economic confidence survey that measures Canadians’ current and future confidence in the Canadian economy and household finances. It also explores Canadians’ perspectives on topical economic subjects.  

Download our overall economic confidence in January 2024 report to see the key findings at a national level. It includes trending analysis and interprovincial comparisons. Separate reports that dive deeper into the study’s findings in British Columbia and Alberta are available for download at the end of this article.  

KEY HIGHLIGHTS: CANADIANS’ PERSPECTIVES ON ECONOMIC CONFIDENCE IN JANUARY 2024

CONFIDENCE IN THE ECONOMY IMPROVES

    • The downward trend in economic confidence has slowly started to reverse. 63% of Canadians say that their confidence in the national economy is poor or very poor, a decrease of 3 percentage points from our last report in October.

INFLATION AND HOUSING REMAIN IMPORTANT ISSUES

    • Inflation remains the most important issue for Canadians, with 46% naming it in the top three most important issues, down slightly from September 2023. Housing affordability comes in a close second at 44%.

OPTIMISM IS SUBDUED DUE TO AN EXPENSIVE HOLIDAY SEASON

    • Confidence in current household finances is improving as economic conditions get better. 35% of Canadians think that their household finances are poor or very poor, a decrease of 4 percentage points since September 2023. To add, 62% of Canadians think that their household finances are good or very good, an increase of 4 points since September.

    • 21% of Canadians think their household’s finances will decline in the future, while 18% think they will improve, an increase of 3 percentage points.

    • 32% of Canadians expect their discretionary spending to be lower in the next 6 months, consistent with their views in September 2023.

    • Due to the holiday season, Canadians have incurred more debt than expected. 33% of Canadians say that their holiday spending went over budget, and 27% of those who did holiday spending used credit card financing to pay for their holiday season spending.

    • Our economic confidence in January 2024 survey also explored usage of buy now, pay later (BNPL) tool. 47% of Canadians have used a BNPL tool in their lives, and 19% have used one in the past 6 months.

METHODOLOGY

The results for this wave of research are based on online research conducted from January 5 to 7, 2024, with a representative sample of 2,043 Canadian adults 18 years of age and older from Leger’s LEO panel.

The data was statistically weighted according to 2021 Canadian Census figures. ​

A margin of error cannot be associated with a non-probability sample in a panel survey, but for comparison purposes, a probability sample of 2,043 would have a margin of error of +2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

Get a full picture of Canadians’ economic confidence, as well as British Columbians’ and Albertans’ economic confidence in January 2024.

CANADA REPORT

BRITISH COLUMBIA REPORT

ALBERTA REPORT

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