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High prices pushing more Canadians to cut back spending: Yahoo/Maru poll

Father grocery shopping with his two children browsing organic vegetable section.
A new Yahoo/Maru Public Opinion survey found that 65 per cent of Canadians are setting stricter priorities and reducing spending in the wake of inflation. (Getty Images) (Jacob Fergus via Getty Images)

High prices are pushing more Canadians to cut back on spending and set stricter financial priorities, a new Yahoo/Maru Public Opinion poll has found, as inflation continues to weigh heavily on household budgets.

The survey of 1,521 Canadians released Monday found that 65 per cent of respondents are setting stricter priorities and reducing spending in the response to inflation. That's up from the 60 per cent of Canadians that said they were slashing spending in July, and 54 per cent that said they were cutting back in June.

The top categories where Canadians are reducing purchases include dining out at restaurants and ordering in (64 per cent of respondents ratcheted back spending on that category), followed by food from grocery stores (51 per cent), entertainment such as movies and sports events (51 per cent), and clothing and footwear (46 per cent).

Strained budgets bring worry and panic

The poll also found that 53 per cent of Canadians say they are "worried" because inflation is causing serious money issues for them, while 13 per cent say they are "genuinely panicked" due to the drastic lifestyle changes they are having to make to deal with rising prices.

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The most recent data from Statistics Canada showed that while inflation slowed to 7 per cent in August, down from its peak of 8.1 per cent in June, price increases remain broad-based and well above the two per cent target set out in the Bank of Canada's mandate. Grocery prices in particular have soared, jumping 10.8 per cent in August, the steepest increase in 41 years.

In response to rising inflation, the Bank of Canada has aggressively hiked its benchmark interest rate, which has also left Canadians feeling the pinch. A separate Yahoo/Maru Public Opinion survey released last Friday found that 57 per cent of Canadians personally feel the impact of rising interest rates, with 18 per cent saying they are "worried sick" about the effects rate hikes could have on them or their families.

The survey of 1,521 Canadian adults was conducted between Oct. 7 and Oct. 9 and has an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.

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