Confidence among Canadians that their country’s central bank can get inflation under control is shaky at best, a new Angus Reid Institute (ARI) poll suggests.
The results showed 41 per cent of respondents said they don’t trust the Bank of Canada to fulfill its mandate of returning inflation to two per cent. Only 46 per cent said they were confident in the central bank.
The mistrust widens when the results are examined along political party lines.
ARI found 59 per cent of Conservative Party of Canada voters and 86 per cent of People’s Party of Canada voters said they don’t have confidence in the central bank.
Meanwhile, 69 per cent of Liberal supporters and 47 per cent who voted NDP in the last federal election said they have faith in the bank.
The survey was conducted from June 7-13 and polled 5,032 Canadians.
Pressure is mounting on the Bank of Canada to bring inflation down after Statistics Canada’s latest consumer price index surged at the fastest rate since 1983.
Much of Bay Street now expects the bank to deliver a three-quarter point interest rate hike in July; some economists and strategists, such as those at JPMorgan, have said there’s a possibility the bank could opt for a full-point hike.
Raising rates by one percentage point, however, could send the wrong signal to the market, one prominent economist warned.
“You show that you're panicking and that's not a good thing as well,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, in an interview Wednesday.
He said a hike of that magnitude would be a sign of weakness from the Bank of Canada and give the impression it’s not in control of inflation; so he’s expecting a three-quarter point rate increase next month.
In the face of the skyrocketing cost of living, 45 per cent of respondents to the ARI survey said they are financially worse off now than at the same time last year — the highest level in at least a dozen years.
Roughly a third (34 per cent) expect their finances will deteriorate further over the next year.  
Groceries and gas continue to be key pain points for household budgets. The survey suggests slightly more than half of Canadians (52 per cent) find it is difficult to keep food on the table, with lower-income families more likely to report they were struggling.
To save money on gasoline, the majority of drivers said they have sometimes decided to stay home instead of going out, while others have gone out of their way to get cheaper gas at a different fuel station or taken other forms of transportation instead of driving.