Posthaste: The restrictions have been lifted – where are Canadians spending their money now?


Good morning!

The pandemic has changed our consumption habits.

We’ve googled and searched our way to online bargains, filled our cell phones with shopping apps, and rejected many products altogether, in favor of new habits, services and indulgences.

But with the easing of restrictions in most provinces in recent months, Canadians are once again spreading their wings, going to hockey arenas, going to malls, and even watching a movie in a closed environment that requires us to share space with other vaccinated strangers.

As such, a new report from the Royal Bank of Canada finds Canadians in madness mode.

Overall spending remained high, standing 20% ​​above 2019 levels as concerns about the virus eased, RBC said.

“Canadians continued to frequent restaurants and dinners even as the patio season began to draw to a close,” economists Nathan Janzen and Rannella Bily-Ochieng said in a report.

The report, which anonymously tracks card spending by its account holders, shows that Canadians are spending more on entertainment, even as money for hotels and accommodation has slowed, presumably at the end of the summer season.

“Certain online shopping habits have become entrenched, including grocery shopping, despite the removal of many brick-and-mortar retail restrictions,” the RBC economist noted.

The intention of Canadians to keep their wallets open during the holidays is also the topic of a poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute on behalf of Ownr, an RBC Venture company.

But the rise in spending is in part due to rising prices and supply chain bottlenecks, according to a survey released this morning. The inflation rate in Canada was 4.4% in September, its highest level since 2003.

“Among the top concerns consumers have when they start planning their holiday shopping, rising item prices were ranked first by 41% of Canadians, followed by a tighter budget than in previous years (18% ) and article search. out of stock (14 percent), ”according to the survey.

About 52 percent of Canadians planned to spend more on holiday shopping compared to the previous year because they expect higher retail prices.

“Increased transportation costs due to bottlenecks in the global supply chain are passed on to buyers, and our survey shows Canadians don’t expect their dollar to stretch that far.” this holiday season, ”said Derek Hopfner, Director of Revenue at Ownr.

Canadians have also indicated they want to return to physical stores, with 79% feeling comfortable shopping in-store this season.

One of the reasons for returning to in-store shopping is due to a willingness to support local small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Most Canadians found their favorite local small business the traditional way, including window shopping (59 percent) and word of mouth (55 percent), according to the Ownr report.

“The top three reasons some Canadians choose to do all or most of their shopping from small businesses are: 1) want to support the local economy and jobs, 2) know that small businesses need income , 3) have a preference for buying products made in Canada, ”the survey notes.

Another Shopify Inc. Black Friday / Cyber ​​Monday survey released last week also suggests spending shouldn’t be slowing down. This year, respondents said they plan to spend an average of $ 542 over the long weekend, an increase of $ 61 from the $ 481 reported in 2020.


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