While 63% of Canadians remain concerned about their ability to pay current bills and loans, 65% said that they now expect to be able to pay their bills and debts for longer than one month, according to a recent TransUnion study.
TransUnion’s Financial Hardship Report – Wave 9, which polled 1,051 adult Canadians during the week of Oct. 4, saw less than half (48%) of households reporting negative financial impact from COVID-19 for the first time.
This was considerably lower than the peak of 63% seen last April, a trend that TransUnion attributed to the late-spring economic reopening.
“The rise in employment figures as many Canadians return to work combined with government relief and lender deferrals have combined to create a much larger comfort zone in this wave,” TransUnion said in the study.
In terms of demographics, the pandemic’s financial impact was greater among Gen-Z-ers and millennials (55% each) than among Gen X (51%) and boomer (37%) respondents.
Around 57% of respondents said that their household finances were as planned or better in 2020, while another 18% said that their finances were better than planned this year.
Despite these buffers and various financial support programs in recent months, however, overall spending was noticeably slower.
“Consumers are altering their lifestyle, with 57% indicating they have cut back on discretionary spending,” TransUnion said. “This choice ranked high during lockdowns, and remains the top choice as businesses reopen.”