Vacation plans on hold as inflation hits Canadian consumers: Survey

People in Ontario, Atlantic Canada most likely to postpone getaways
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 07/25/2011

With rising gas and food prices, Canadians are delaying vacation plans, according to a survey of 4,008 people by RBC.

With gas prices rising 29.5 per cent in May alone (the biggest jump since September 2005) and food prices climbing 4.2 per cent in the same month, Canadian consumers are responding in very practical ways, found the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index. Almost one-third (30 per cent) said they are more likely to delay vacation plans until 2012.

People in Ontario (34 per cent) and Atlantic Canada are most likely (33 per cent) to postpone vacations, followed by British Columbia (29 per cent), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (27 per cent) and Quebec and Alberta (both 26 per cent).

Other solutions to the changing economic factors include:

• increasing comparison shopping for food (55 per cent)
• following budgets more than before and buying less on impulse (48 per cent)
• delaying the purchase of a new vehicle and making do with their present one longer than usual (31 per cent)
• using vehicles less, making fewer trips and using public transit or walking more (29 per cent).

However, a recent RBC Economic Outlook from RBC Economics projected positive growth right through 2012.

"Overall, we're forecasting that the Canadian economy will grow at a respectable clip over the next two years," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist at RBC. "Supported by the continued economic recovery being projected for the U.S., we expect Canada's economy to expand by 3.2 per cent in 2011 and 3.1 per cent in 2012."

Albertans are the most optimistic the Canadian economy will improve over the next year (59 per cent), followed by residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (46 per cent), B.C. (46 per cent), Ontario (44 per cent), Atlantic Canada (41 per cent) and Quebec (27 per cent). Nationally, 42 per cent of Canadians expect to see improvements in the national economy over the upcoming year.

At 27 per cent, residents of Ontario are expressing the most concern about the outlook for job loss or layoffs in the upcoming year, followed by people living in Alberta (20 per cent), Atlantic Canada, Quebec and B.C. (18 per cent each) and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (16 per cent). Nationally, 22 per cent of Canadians are expressing job anxiety.

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