Skip to main content

Business Briefing Half of Canadians say they’re struggling to meet daily expenses: OECD

Briefing highlights

  • Canadians fret over finances
  • Stocks, loonie, oil at a glance
  • What to expect from the Fed today
  • St. Joseph to buy Rogers magazines
  • EU fines Google €1,49-billion
  • From today’s Globe and Mail

Canada’s angst

Canadians are most worried about “making ends meet” and, further down the road, financial security when they’re old, an OECD survey shows.

These are among the top findings of a global poll on social and economic risks released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

And they’re in line with findings in Canada in this climate of such economic uncertainty.

Story continues below advertisement

“Canadians are most worried, in the short run, about making ends meet,” the OECD said in releasing results of the survey of 22,000 people in 21 countries, conducted last year.

“Fifty-one per cent of Canadians say that struggling to meet daily expenses, despite working, is a top three concern.”

Other concerns include falling ill or disabled, and losing their job within two years.

Longer term, the main concern is similar in that it relates to getting by.

“When looking beyond the next decade, pensions are by far the most common concern for Canadians, as they are in every country surveyed,” the OECD said.

“Sixty-seven per cent of people in Canada list ‘financial security in old age’ as a top three long-term risk.”

Other concerns in this category include not doing as well as their parents and making sure of long-term care for their families.

Story continues below advertisement

And here’s an interesting finding: About 34 per cent believe they “could easily access public benefits if they needed them,” a better showing than in any other country.

“Across countries, only 20 per cent of respondents feel they could access benefits if needed,” the OECD said.

Read more

Markets at a glance

Read more

What to watch for today

Markets are watching for just how patient the Federal Reserve expects to be.

The U.S. central bank is expected to hold the key fed funds rate steady in the afternoon after having signalled a pause in its hiking cycle.

It won't be just the decision, but also fresh projections from individual members of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee and a news conference with chair Jerome Powell that investors will be watching.

"The shift in the Fed’s tone following the January FOMC meeting could hardly have been more pronounced," said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

Story continues below advertisement

“In the face of financial market volatility and a sharper-than-expected slowdown in global growth, Fed officials not only pledged in the post-meeting statement to be ‘patient’ in respect to future policy changes, but they also removed the previous reference to ‘further gradual increases’ in the fed funds rate,” he added In a lookahead to the decision.

"Developments since that meeting will only have reinforced the Fed’s more cautious stance. Admittedly, financial conditions have eased in recent weeks, with credit spreads narrowing and the S&P 500 close to a record high again. At the same time, however, the global backdrop has continued to deteriorate."

Economic indicators from China and Europe have been soft, Mr. Hunter noted, while some from the U.S. have illustrated "clear signs of weakness."

Markets will be watching closely for the rate path expected among individual Fed officials, something known as the "dot plot," which is expected to show a slower timeline than last time out.

Some investors have even pondered the possibility of a rate cut at some point.

“We’ll be honing in on the statement for any clues on whether they have gone as far as markets in seeing a potential need to actually cut rates,” said CIBC World Markets chief economist Avery Shenfeld.

Story continues below advertisement

"That would require a massive swing from the 'dot plots' from December, which still showed three further rate hikes on the way."

Besides the Fed decision, Power Corp., Power Financial Corp. and Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. report results.

More news
From today’s Globe and Mail
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter