Canadian Consumers Expect to Buy Big-ticket Goods this Year

Economic uncertainty isn’t stopping Canadians from making major purchases in 2024.

This is according to a new survey by payment network Affirm, which polled 2,000 people on their priorities and expectations for their personal finances.

At a time when many reports seem to indicate Canadians are tightening their wallets, 82 per cent of those surveyed said they are planning to purchase big-ticket items in the coming months.

Consumer sentiment varied across different age groups, with Gen Z and millennials more likely to make a major purchase this year (94 and 90 per cent, respectively), compared to Gen X and baby boomers (82 and 72 per cent, respectively).

While vacations were by far the most likely big purchase (45 per cent), furniture or decor was high on the list (23 per cent). A car (25 per cent), technology (22 per cent) and tickets to an experience (21 per cent), such as a concert or sporting event, rounded out the top five categories.

The survey also revealed Canadians are more confident in themselves versus the economy and are aiming to be more financially savvy. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents believe the economy will improve over the next 12 months, compared to nearly half who expect their personal financial situation will get better over the same period.

Younger Canadians were more optimistic about their finances. Approximately two-thirds of Gen Z consumers and nearly three in five millennials believe their finances will improve over the next 12 months, both of which were roughly double in comparison to Gen X and baby boomers at 37 and 31 per cent, respectively.

However, more than four in 10 Canadians expect it will be difficult for them to stay on budget, while almost a quarter are unsure of their budgets. High prices were cited most often as the top-facing challenge (17 per cent), followed by an uncertain economy (36 per cent) and not having enough money to pay for basic necessities (31 per cent).

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