34 pct Canadians worry about rent, mortgage payment due to COVID-19

Xinhua News,OTTAWA
2020-03-26 06:04

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At least 34 percent of Canadians are worried about missing a rent or mortgage payment this month because of the impact of COVID-19, according to a survey issued by Canadian Angus Reid Institute on Wednesday.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread layoffs and a drastic reduction in the amount of paid work in the country.

Among those surveyed, 44 percent reported that they or someone in their household have lost hours due to the economic downturn. An additional 18 percent said they expect to lose work soon.

The survey shows 37 percent of those who have experienced job loss in their household said they do not have enough of a financial cushion to handle even an extra expense of 100 Canadian dollars in the next 30 days.

The institute said it conducted the survey online from March 20 to 23 using a representative randomized sample of 1,664 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum.

The survey comes as a growing number of economists are warning that Canada's economy is entering uncharted waters.

"The economy has already entered a deep downturn that we expect will rival the worst year of the Great Recession," according to a report released by RBC Economics on Tuesday.

The pressure on the economy will be widespread with the services sector hit by a severe demand shock as social distancing keeps consumers and workers at home, the report said.

The report predicted that Canada's GDP could fall 2.5 percent in 2020 and the unemployment rate is also expected to rise sharply.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said Monday that one-third of small businesses across the country would not be able to survive the next month without massive government assistance.

The layoffs are adding up. The Canadian government said it has been flooded with a record number of new applications for employment insurance since the COVID-19 crisis began.

The layoff number is likely to increase in the coming weeks as many small businesses have to make new layoff decisions next month due to possibly worsening COVID-19 situation.
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