Pandemic Impacts Spending

The pandemic has changed almost every facet of our lives, including how Canadians spend their money, says Statistics Canada. Its ‘Survey of Household Spending’ says, for example, in 2019, Canadian households spent on average $871 on air travel and $300 on public transit. In 2020, air travel and public transit ridership fell drastically amid travel restrictions and border closures, as well as public health measures to contain the further spread of COVID-19. On the other hand, in 2019, households spent $7,536 on food from stores and $799 on alcoholic beverages from stores. Starting in March 2020, monthly food and beverage store sales have consistently surpassed the pre-pandemic February 2020 level. Household spending has also risen at a faster pace than consumer price inflation. The largest share of their spending goes on shelter (29.3 per cent), transportation (18.5 per cent), and food (14.9 per cent).