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People are shown in a shopping mall in Montreal, on Jan. 15, 2022, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Canadians are growing increasingly pessimistic about the economy as inflation drives up the cost of nearly everything and higher interest rates loom.

A new survey by the Conference Board of Canada indicates consumer confidence decreased 11.7 points in May – the largest monthly drop since the pandemic’s onset.

The economic think tank says optimism over current finances also edged lower while concerns about future finances grew.

The Conference Board also says Canadians appear increasingly cautious about spending, with generally negative attitudes toward purchasing big-ticket items.

The drop in consumer confidence comes as inflation reached a three-decade high in Canada and the Bank of Canada signals higher interest rates are coming.

The online survey of 3,047 respondents aged 18 and older was conducted between May 6 and May 13th, 2022. Online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

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