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Bank of Canada rate hikes hitting young adults hardest: Yahoo/Maru poll

Reported annual incomes for these respondents mainly spanned between $50,000 and $99,000

Canadians between 18 and 34 years old were most likely to admit the Bank of Canada's string of rate hikes is causing them stress, a new poll shows.
Canadians between 18 and 34 years old were most likely to admit the Bank of Canada's string of rate hikes is causing them stress, a new poll shows. (Catherine Falls Commercial via Getty Images)

Young adults outside Canada's most populous provinces are feeling the pinch from the Bank of Canada's rate hikes more than older age groups, and those in Ontario and Quebec, a new poll suggests.

The latest Yahoo/Maru Public Opinion poll reached 1,527 Canadian adults between July 21 and 24. More than half (52 per cent) say higher borrowing costs are either causing anxiety due to money pressures (36 per cent), or making them "worried sick" about their financial futures (16 per cent).

Among those citing money pressures, 51 per cent were 18-to-34 years old, the youngest cohort in the poll. The most common regions for this group were Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Atlantic Canada, Alberta, and British Columbia. Reported annual incomes for these respondents mainly spanned between $50,000 and $99,000.

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“Despite the significant rise in interest rates since last October to today, many Canadians have made an adjustment in their lives to manage or accommodate what has occurred,” Maru executive vice-president John Wright said.

“Those most likely to do so are primarily women, those with both the lowest and the highest incomes, and the oldest Canadians. Regionally, those in Atlantic Canada, Ontario, and Quebec have fared better than those in the west.”

A Yahoo/Maru Public Opinion poll conducted in October 2022 found 57 per cent of respondents say they are personally feeling the impact of rising interest rates, with 39 per cent suggesting ever-higher rates are causing some anxiety over the impact on their finances.

Back then, 43 per cent of respondents said rising interest rates are not a problem for either themselves or their family. In the latest poll, that figure rose to 48 per cent.

Last month, Canada's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to five per cent, a level not seen since April 2001. Eighteen months ago, the overnight rate was 0.25 per cent.

“For that group in dire straits, and for those about to renew their mortgage, there will be great anticipation of what the Bank of Canada will do in September following a pause for two months, Wright said. "The next Consumer Price Index release on August 15, may well portend whether their may be a continued reprieve in store.”

The Bank of Canada's next rate decision is scheduled for Sept. 6.

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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