A new survey by the Angus Reid Institute found that the majority of Canadians are struggling to keep up with a higher cost of living amid high inflation and interest rate hikes.

Overall, 56% of Canadians said they are unable to keep up, while 39% feel they are able to keep pace.

Canadians from Saskatchewan are struggling the most – with 71% of respondents from the province saying they’re having trouble keeping up and only 26% saying they are able to get by. On the other hand, Quebecers are struggling the least– with 41% saying they’re struggling and 55% saying they are able to get by.

While inflation decreased in July, prices are still 7.6% higher than they were last year. The Bank of Canada’s inflation target is 2%.

Meanwhile, 80% of Canadians say they have been cutting back on spending amid price increases.

57% of respondents said they are cutting back on discretionary spending, 42% are delaying a big purchase, 41% are driving less, 32% are cancelling or scaling back travel plans, 27% are scaling back on donations and charitable giving and 19% said they are deferring or not making a contribution to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).

The majority of respondents also believe that grocery stores are taking advantage of inflation to increase profits, with 78% saying they agree with the latter and only 7% saying grocery stores are not taking advantage of inflation.

Angus Reid also found that 76% of Canadians are stressed about money. 52% of respondents said they would not be able to manage a one-time sudden expense of over $1000.

According to the survey, Those over the age of 54 are better off handling a sudden expense than those 35 to 54, who are the most likely to struggle.

In addition, 36% are concerned about themselves or someone in their household losing a job – despite a low unemployment rate.

Angus Reid surveyed 2279 Canadians over the age of 18 who are members of its “Angus Reid Forum” between August 8 and 10.

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