Nearly half of Canadians are less than $200 away from not having enough money to pay their bills, according to a new survey.
The survey, which was created by Ipsos for accounting firm MNP, found that the number of Canadians less than $200 away from insolvency is now 46% — up six percent since the last quarter.
A majority of respondents also believe increasing interests rates have become a detriment to their financial health, jumping up significantly since last surveyed.
When the results are broken down by region, the Western provinces feel worse off compared to the Eastern provinces, but nearly all regions report feeling worse than last year.
It’s clear that many Canadians disagree with the Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s assertion that the economy is growing steadily.
Earlier this month, another Ipsos survey found that Canadians were going into 2019 more pessimistic and feeling worse off than the year prior.
What may be most worrying is that 45% of those surveyed believe they will have to go into more debt to provide for themselves and their families.
Higher taxes, endless government deficits and a battered oil and gas sector have hurt Canadians’ pocketbooks, and with a carbon tax coming into place in 2019, the prospect of economic recovery is bleak.
Western Canadians have been hit particularly hard by the decline in oil, brought about by low global prices and cancelled pipelines.
Increasing interest rates should also be a concern for Canadians.
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said on Wednesday that bankruptcies are up and interest rates could as much double in the near future. The situation does not look like it will not get better anytime soon.
With Canadians more indebted in 2019, many in the finance community are worried about this trend.
“Many have so little wiggle room that any increase in living costs or interest payments can tip them over the edge,” said MNP in a statement.
If the economy and wages do not grow to offset increased interest rates, 2019 may shape up to be a very rough year for everyday Canadians.