Many families in Saskatchewan are struggling to make ends meet.
New data shows that 55 per cent of people in Saskatchewan say their financial position has grown worse over the last year. That’s second highest in the country.
According to data from Angus Reid Institute, 47 per cent of Canadians say they feel worse off financially than they did a year ago.
“It’s a lot harder now. Everything costs more, gas costs more, groceries cost more, I am digging into my savings every month. And now I am running out,” said Wendi Bigknife.
This inflation is arguably the worst the country has experience since the 1980s.
“I think we are seeing a return to 1970s-era policies across the country and south in the border of the U.S., and that’s going to generate some serious inflationary pressure,” said Jason Childs, associate professor with the University of Regina.
“I know it’s tough out there. Once you go into the store, it’s not getting any better. The prices of things like milk, eggs, I mean basic things needs to be reduced,” said Saskatchewan resident Michael Posehn.
“My hopes are high,” Posehn said when talking about going back to work.
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One of the pressing issues is how slow wages rise.
For Childs, slow wages increase affects purchasing power. He said, “Wages have been growing but not has quickly as inflation. That means people can afford to buy less and that’s going to put pressure on their finances. You are not going to be able to save as much if you are exhausting your paycheque to pay for groceries”.
In February, Canada’s inflation growth rate slowed down to 5.2 per cent a major drop from 5.9 per cent in January.
Childs attributes this slowdown to a reduction in the price of gasoline and replacement housing prices.
The price of groceries was up 10.6 per cent higher than a year ago. That’s down from the 11.4 per cent annual increase seen in January.
This means the slowdown rate does not mean things are getting more affordable, it only means they are getting less affordable but more slowly.
But Jason Childs says there may to be some hope as the province may be shielded from any coming recession.
“Saskatchewan is likely to be insulated from the worse of this. If you look at the forecast around commodity prices the re-entry of China into the economy, they want the things we produce and that (is) going to be good for Saskatchewan.”
Residents of Saskatchewan can only hope for one thing — that the price of groceries and interest rates will eventually stop climbing.