Increased Household Finances Encourages Spending

Household finances during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada have shown remarkable strength relative to previous downturns – courtesy of historic government support – and Canadians appear ready to spend as soon as they are able, says an outlook for the Canadian consumer from BMO Economics. “We look for spending to rebound almost six per cent in 2021 and by more than seven per cent when inflation is factored in,” says Doug Porter, chief economist of BMO Financial Group. The report says there are significant changes to household shopping habits over the course of the year. "Perhaps the biggest winners of all were online retailers, with eCommerce sales more than doubling at the height of the lockdown and remaining elevated – up 74 per cent year over year in the third quarter," As well, he says  the ability to work from home has given consumers an insatiable demand for furniture and household equipment, up 10 per cent year over year.