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Paying down debt is the top financial priority for Canadians for 2024: CIBC Poll

Interest rates and recessionary fears top list of economic worries

TORONTO, Dec. 28, 2023 /CNW/ - At a time when higher inflation is putting a strain on household budgets, this year's priority for Canadians is paying down debt (13 per cent). The goal of debt repayment was tied with the goal of saving as much as possible (13 per cent), according to CIBC's annual Financial Priorities poll. Keeping up with bills (12 per cent) is also high on the list for 2024.

Inflation (61 per cent) and rising interest rates (28 per cent) top the combined ranked list of financial concerns for Canadians this year.  

The poll also found that while the majority (67 per cent) of Canadians agree we are either heading into a recession or already in one, most (64 per cent) feel financially prepared for the unexpected and 60 per cent believe their financial situation is secure enough to withstand a recession. 

Overall sentiment towards finances has also remained constant since last year with 64 per cent of Canadians indicating they feel positive about their current financial situation and only a quarter (26 per cent) of people saying they have taken on more debt in the last 12 months. 

"With household budgets under some pressure from higher costs, it's not surprising that paying down debt is a top priority for Canadians in the new year," said Carissa Lucreziano, Vice-President, CIBC Financial Planning and Advice. "Whether you are confident about meeting your financial goals in 2024, or have doubts about staying on track, working with a financial professional can help you implement a plan to help achieve your ambitions for the coming year and beyond."  

Additional findings from the annual Financial Priorities poll: 

  • Top reasons for taking on more debt include increased cost of living (46 per cent), day-to-day expenses beyond monthly income (38 per cent), unexpected financial emergencies (17 per cent), higher cost of borrowing (14 per cent) and loss of income (10 per cent). 
  • 36 per cent said if they won or received $5,000 they would put it towards their savings.  
  • 70 per cent of Canadians believe the uncertainty of the current environment makes it difficult to plan. 
  • Among those currently employed, 42 per cent are concerned about their job security given the present economic environment. 
  • 21 per cent say advice on strategies on how to offset the impact of inflation would help them feel more prepared for unexpected financial hardships.  
Tools and support

In addition to expert, personalized advice, CIBC also offers clients the following online tools to help manage their everyday expenses and overall finances:

  • Budget Calculator, offers a clear picture of your monthly cash flow to help make informed financial decisions.
  • CIBC Smart Planner, an intuitive goal planning tool that makes it easy for you to set, track and reach your financial goals.
  • CIBC Insights, offers tips and proactive alerts about everyday spending to make it easier for you to manage your money and stay on track to achieving your financial goals.

This Maru Public Opinion survey was undertaken November 7-8, 2023, by the sample and data experts at Maru/Blue and involved 1,511 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada online panelists. The results have been weighted to match the population, and for comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About CIBC   

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 14 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets and Direct Financial Services businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network, and locations across Canada, in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at


For further information: Kira Smylie, CIBC Communications & Public Affairs, 416-980-2949 or