19 Consumer Spending Statistics for Canada in 2022

In order to accurately present the current consumer spending statistics in Canada, we’ll need to look back at previous years. For instance, 2020 was truly remarkable due to the pandemic and its effect on what people bought and how they made their purchases.

We’ve studied consumer trends and national statistics to present you with surprising facts about Canadian shoppers and their spending habits. 

So, please keep reading to follow the money trail!

Top 10 Consumer Spending Statistics and Facts for 2022

  • Canadian households spent an average of $68,980 on goods and services in 2019.
  • The debt ratio in Canada is presently at 170.7%.
  • Canadian consumer demographics state that 25% of consumers will be seniors by 2031.
  • Canadians spent 50% more in April 2021 than in April 2020.
  • The full-service restaurant industry grew by 6.9% in 2021.
  • Consumerism in Canada statistics indicate the luxury market shrunk by 16.8% in 2020.
  • Canadian consumers (61%) want to make more environmentally friendly purchases.
  • The median age of the Canadian consumer is 41.1.
  • Consumer spending numbers reveal Canadians spend most of their income on housing. 
  • Canadian consumers were expected to spend a total of $1020.55 billion in 2021.

General Canadian Consumer Spending Statistics

Below, you’ll find stats and emerging trends regarding consumer spending in Canada. 

The average Canadian household’s debt ratio is high. But this should come as no surprise since this patriotic nation is always happy to support its local economy.

Chart by Visualizer

1. According to official consumer spending statistics, Canadian households spent $68,980 on goods and services in 2019.

(Statistics Canada)

This amount displays an increase of 7.9% from 2017. It’s interesting to note that household spending rose faster than inflation (+4.3%) during these two years. Therefore, the actual rate was closer to 3.4%. 

The provinces with the highest household spending were British Columbia and Alberta, averaging $77,511 and $79,849, respectively.

2. Consumer spending as a percentage of the GDP dropped by 0.69% from 2016 to 2019.

(The Global Economy)

In 2016, Canada’s household consumption was 58.48% of the GDP, increasing from 2015 (57.81%). However, it dropped the following three years until reaching 57.42% in 2020, around 7% less than the global average of 64.36%.

3.  Canadian consumer spending statistics indicate that 38% of shoppers prefer to pay extra for a premium brand.

(PayBright)

According to PayBright’s Consumer Trends Guide, many Canadian customers are willing to buy more expensive quality brands. By doing so, they hope to avoid making repeat purchases of lower-quality items.

In line with the above stat, 55% of Canadian consumers claim to read several product reviews before making a purchase.

4. Recent consumer spending trends reveal that 68% of Canadians shopped locally in 2020.

(Statistica)

These Canadian consumers primarily did so to help strengthen their local community. This percentage was the highest out of the eleven countries polled. The US and France were close behind with 66% and 62% respectively. Japan (44%) and India (37%) were at the bottom of the list.

5. Consumer debt statistics for Canada place the debt ratio at 170.7%.

(BNNBloomberg)

According to fiscal statistics, Canadian households owed $1.71 for every dollar of disposable income during the third quarter of 2019. This number indicates an increase from the second quarter of 2019 when the debt ratio was 162.8%.

6. Consumerism stats show that 15% of Canadians have a credit card spending limit of $2,000.

(GreedyRates)

Furthermore, credit card statistics reveal that for 41% of people in Canada, the credit card limit is over $10,000. In 2018 alone, some 79.6 million credit cards were issued to Canadians. Plus, an impressive 70% of Canadians pay their credit card bill in full every month.

Statistics on Consumerism During the Pandemic

Like most countries, the pandemic hit Canada hard. However, many businesses have since begun to reopen, and consumer spending is increasing. That’s why we’re witnessing stats fluctuate like never before.

7. According to consumer spending statistics in 2021, April showed a  50% increase from 2020. 

(RBC)

Although Canadian consumers embraced online shopping, they were still frugal with their money. When the pandemic hit in spring 2020, retail activity nationwide dropped by 30% over just two months. Luckily, consumer spending bounced back and was twice as high in April of 2021.

8. Canadian consumer spending trends reveal that full-service restaurants were thriving in 2021.

(IBISWorld

Canadian fast-service restaurants made $42.84 billion in 2021 alone. Although the full-service restaurant industry is sensitive to fluctuations in the market, it is still impacted the most by consumer spending.

The present high growth of 6.9% is the result of the recovery from the 2020 pandemic. Similarly, the Canadian coffee and snack shops were expected to grow by 4.7%, and fast-food restaurants were forecast to increase by 0.8% in 2021.

9. The consumer spending chart for 2020 shows a decrease of $1,258 from the third to the fourth quarter.

(Trading Economics)

During the third quarter of 2020, consumer spending in Canada was at $1,137,117. During the net and final quarter, the figure dropped to $1,135,859. However, consumer confidence grew during this period, as life slowly returned to normal after the coronavirus pandemic.

10. Consumerism statistics in Canada show that Canadians, on average, spent $4,000 less in 2020.

(Bank of Canada

This decrease in spending was caused by the pandemic, ensuing lockdowns, and unemployment. According to consumer spending by income level, low-wage workers were hit the hardest. In fact, jobs paying $16 or less dropped by 27% in 2020.

However, as part of the economic and epidemiological crisis response, the Canadian government’s direct financial support was $105 billion or $3,400 per citizen.

11. Canadian consumer rates for food were up 19.5% in 2020.

(Deloitte)

Not all industries struggled during 2020! For example, along with food sales, beverage sales were up by 8.6%. Alcohol purchases alone rose by 10.4%. The rise was due to Canadians (in a panic) stockpiling essential products, which drove up the sales rates of certain commodities.

12. Luxury consumer demographics in Canada estimated that the market would decrease by 16.8% in 2020.

(Retail Insider)

Luckily, the decrease of the luxury apparel market was only temporary, as the market is expected to grow by 1.6% by 2023. However, in 2020 purse sales went down by 16.7%, luxury women’s apparel was down 17%, and men’s luxury apparel 16.2%.

13. Consumerism statistics from 2020 reveal that auto sales in Canada were down by 35%.

(Deloitte)

When the pandemic suddenly hit in 2020, some industries suffered more than others. For instance, the auto industry lost a third of its customer base. Additionally, the clothing industry was down 46%, and footwear sales plummeted 48%.

Consumer Demographics in Canada

Below are some stats and facts regarding the average Canadian consumer’s age, gender, and shopping habits. We’ll also explore recent trends, such as eco-conscious shopping.

Chart by Visualizer

14. Among interesting consumer facts is the median age of the Canadian consumer — 41.1 years old.

(SantanderTM)

According to UN data from 2020, 66.5% of Canadians are between 14 and 65 years old. Seniors make up 17.6% of the population, and children comprise 15.8% of the total population. The average household size is 2.9 people.

15. Consumer trends indicate that 33% of Canadians are willing to spend money on premium health products and services.

(BDC)

This health trend will likely continue to grow as 25% of the Canadian population will be over 65 years old by 2031. The average annual amount spent on health and fitness is now $935, increasing from $818 a decade and a half ago.

16. According to consumerism facts, 82% of Canadians shopped online in 2020.

(Statistics Canada)

This percentage corresponds with Canadians spending a colossal $84.4 billion online in 2020! Furthermore, the bulk of these purchases (95%) were made by 25- to 44-year-olds. Moreover, online shopping statistics reveal that many people (76%) primarily bought physical goods, such as clothing, electronics, and books.

17. Female consumer statistics display that 60% of Canadian shoppers are women.

(Nielsen)

Women also have different shopping preferences. For instance, Canadian women are 9% more likely to check web-based e-mails and 15% more likely to visit social networking websites than Canadian men.

18. Female consumer trends show that 76% of Canadian women are likely to participate in a survey. 

(Nielsen)

From a marketer’s point of view, it is easier to reach female shoppers than male ones. For example, 77% of women are willing to receive coupons instead of 55% of men. They’re also 16% more likely than men to join a loyalty program group. Finally, 61% of women are more willing to provide a product review.

19. According to green consumer demographics, 61% of Canadian shoppers want to make more environmentally friendly purchases.

(EY) (PwC)

Unfortunately, 64% of the same respondents plan on focusing on value for money. Plus, 77% say that price is a more important consideration because of the impact COVID-19 has had on their finances.

So, as you can see, the pandemic has created challenges in many aspects of the market, including green consumerism. However, 42% of Canadian shoppers are still trying to avoid plastic and buy products with less packaging.

Conclusion

All in all, the above consumer spending statistics show that, like the rest of the world, the pandemic had a noticeable impact on Canada’s economy and shopping habits. Consequently, eCommerce seems to be the way forward for many businesses.

Hopefully, you’ve found these stats and facts about consumerism in Canada informative. We’re optimistic that the economy will continue to bounce back in 2022.

FAQ

What is the current rate of consumer spending?

Stats from October 2021 reveal that the year’s consumer spending was $1.193 trillion. This number is already larger than the sum total of 2020 ($1.144 trillion), which was a 5.9% decrease from 2019.

(IBISWorld)

What do consumers spend the most money on?

It is estimated that the average Canadian spends the most (nearly 30% of their total income) on housing. Furthermore, before the pandemic, clothing, food, and shoes would be close behind. 

However, due to COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdowns, Canadians have been spending more on alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana. In fact, spending habits have changed so much that it’s affecting how inflation is measured in the country.

(Finacial Post)

Is consumer spending increasing?

Yes, consumer spending in Canada is currently increasing (4.3%) compared to 2020. However, last year the number decreased (- 5.9%) from 2019. The pandemic and the subsequent restrictions caused this drastic fluctuation in spending.

(IBISWorld)

Is consumer spending good for the economy?

Whether we are talking about Canada or China, consumer spending can most certainly boost a country’s GDP,  thus benefiting the national economy. In fact, GDP combined with consumer spending is among the biggest determinants of the health of a particular economy.

(The Balance)

What percent of the economy is consumer spending?

According to Global Economy.com, 57.42% of Canada’s economy came from consumer spending. Unsurprisingly, this figure is less than that of the United States, where 70% of the GDP is consumer spending.

(The Global Economy) (The Balance)

How much do consumers spend each year?

Although data varies from year to year, Canadian consumers were expected to spend a total of $1020.55 billion in 2021. This figure would be a 4.1% increase in comparison to 2020. According to current consumer spending statistics, the projected growth for 2022 is 2.9%.

(IBISWorld)

Sources:

Stefan is a postdoctoral researcher in American and Irish literature, as well as a dedicated content writer. He is a polyglot wannabe who relishes the opportunity to travel. Stefan writes only about topics he can contribute to. Swimming, boxing, and shooting are his favourite hobbies.

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