Expected changes in spending habits during the recovery period
IssueArts attendance and COVID-19
Farhana Khanam and Sharanjit Uppal
The headline of this study states that “Canadians plan to reduce spending on discretionary items” after businesses and organizations start to reopen. The study’s overall conclusion is particularly true for planned spending on entertainment, as shown in the following analysis by Hill Strategies for this issue of the Arts Research Monitor.
The data are based on a survey of over 4,000 Canadians, conducted between June 15 and 21 within the “Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (CPSS), for which a panel of Canadians has agreed to complete a number of short online surveys. The CPSS is a probabilistic panel based on the Labour Force Survey and is therefore representative of the general population”. However, the study does not provide a margin of error for the survey results.
Over one-third of Canadians (37%) expect to spend less on entertainment compared with their spending before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 19% expect to spend more. The remaining 44% expect to spend the same amount. The report attributes potential decreases in spending to financial difficulties, job losses, and perceived health risks associated with attending entertainment activities.
Entertainment ranks 13th out of 14 spending items in terms of the ratio of people expecting to spend less to those who expect to spend more (ratio of 2.0). Only “eating at a restaurant” fares worse (ratio of 2.5, with 51% expecting to spend less and 20% expecting to spend more). The median ratio for all 14 spending items is 1.3.
On a regional basis, Quebecers are the most optimistic about their future spending on entertainment:
- Quebec: 26% expect to spend less on entertainment, 27% more (ratio of 0.9)
- Ontario: 41% expect to spend less, 19% more (ratio of 2.2)
- Prairie provinces: 41% expect to spend less, 14% more (ratio of 2.9)
- British Columbia: 38% expect to spend less, 13% more (ratio of 3.0)
- Atlantic provinces: 41% expect to spend less, 13% more (ratio of 3.2)
Immigrants are less optimistic than non-immigrants about their future spending on entertainment:
- Immigrant respondents: 45% expect to spend less on entertainment, 18% more (ratio of 2.5)
- Canadian-born respondents: 35% expect to spend less, 19% more (ratio of 1.9)
In terms of broad age ranges, younger Canadians are most confident about their expected spending on entertainment:
- Respondents between 15 and 34 years of age: 28% expect to spend less on entertainment, 26% more (ratio of 1.1)
- Respondents between 35 and 54: 44% expect to spend less on entertainment, 16% more (ratio of 2.8)
- Respondents 55 or older: 40% expect to spend less on entertainment, 14% more (ratio of 2.8)