(LifeSiteNews) – A new poll has found that Canadians are scrambling to find ways to save money as inflation hits 30-year record highs.
Last Thursday, a poll by Leger found that 81 percent of Canadians view inflation as a “very or somewhat serious” problem for their households, with over 3 quarters of respondents reporting that they are reducing their spending as a method of weathering the storm. The poll also found that Canadians hold a “pessimistic” outlook towards their economic future, with 84 percent thinking inflation, gas prices, and interest rates will continue to rise for the next six months.
According to the poll, the “top actions” Canadians have taken or plan to take due to rising inflation are:
- Reducing food waste to make their money go further (86% of Canadians)
- Buying less expensive items at the grocery store (83% of Canadians)
- Spending less on household items (76% of Canadians)
- Eating less often at restaurants or limiting take-out (75% of Canadians), which doesn’t bode well for a sector still trying to recover post-pandemic.
Many economists warn that the current situation could lead Canadians and Americans into a period of stagflation, a term used to define persistent inflation that occurs alongside a weakened economy and high unemployment.
Throughout the pandemic, Canada’s central bank, the Bank of Canada, has printed massive amounts of currency in an attempt to keep the economy alive during widespread lockdowns. This inflation of the currency supply has led to prices skyrocketing, while COVID measures have simultaneously led to massive job loss and the closure of many businesses. Similar trends have occurred throughout the Western world, notably in America.
According to economist Peter Schiff, who predicted the 2008 housing market crash, this combination of factors will inevitably lead to stagflation, which could precipitate another full-scale financial crisis.
“We threw gasoline on the inflation fire because we pushed down supply while we were stimulating demand – the worst possible policy mistake,” said Schiff, referencing how governments continued to print money while using COVID policies to shut down businesses, effectively strangling the supply of goods while also maintaining an artificial supply of currency through “stimulus” programs.
“I think inflation is ultimately going to push the economy into a recession as consumers are forced to spend more and more of what they have on food and energy and insurance and just the basics,” the economist warned. “They’re not going to have discretionary spending. And when they have to cut back, that means a lot of other people lose their incomes, lose their jobs. This is going to be stagflation.”