Canadian consumers continue to expect to lose ground financially over the next year, according to a Bank of Canada Survey of Consumer Expectations.
The Bank has been gathering data for the survey since late 2014, but published its results for the first time, reporting its Q4 2019 numbers. Those figures show Canadians expect their wage growth to continue to lag inflation in 2020, and their own income growth to continue to lag their spending growth.
Canadians were surveyed in November 2019. The median response for both wage growth and income growth in 2020 was 2.0 per cent. The median forecast for inflation was 2.2 per cent, and the median forecast for spending growth was 3.36 per cent.
The historical figures published show that except for single quarters in 2017, consumers have forecast wage growth to be below inflation, and income growth to be below spending growth for the entire five years of forecast data.
The survey also displayed expectations of volatility in the labour market, with 10.4 per cent saying they thought they would lose their job in the next year, and 17.9 per cent set to leave their job. Both figures are the highest in the period studied. Survey participants forecast a median house price growth of 4.4 per cent in 2020.
The survey was first announced in 2014 as a complement to the Business Outlook Survey that the Bank of Canada also releases quarterly. It is based on a nationwide survey of about 1,000 households by an external polling firm.