Market News

CIBC Poll: Inflation Is Canadians’ No. 1 Economic Worry

A poll by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSE: CM) finds that paying off debt is the No. 1 financial priority for Canadians, as inflation and COVID-19 top the list of economic concerns for 2022. 

Top Financial Priorities for Canadians in 2022 

Nearly two years after the start of the global pandemic, CIBC’s annual Financial Priorities survey reveals that debt repayment is the No. 1 goal for Canadians in 2022 (20%). Meanwhile, economic worries are focused on inflation (66%), followed by uncertainty due to COVID-19 (36%). 

With rising costs for everyday items at the top of the list for many, among Canadians who say they took on more debt in 2021, 37% said it was because the expenses exceeded their monthly income. Faced with these concerns, only a quarter of respondents (27%) expect their financial situations to improve next year. 

When asked what financial well-being means to them, 47% of respondents reported living without financial stress and also said it was a key descriptor of general well-being (28%).

Four in 10 (41%) believe that financial well-being comes from being able to afford what they need in life, such as shelter, food or transportation. Half (50%) admit they would like to save better, while a similar number of Canadians agree they need to manage their finances better this coming year (49%). 

Management Commentary 

CIBC Financial and Investment Advice Vice-President Carissa Lucreziano said, “It’s understandable that Canadians are concerned about the economy in 2022, but what’s important is to have their personal financial house in order, if goods, services and carrying debt are going to cost more. Although a number of Canadians do not feel their finances will get better in 2022, most have not had a planning session with their financial advisor in the last year. Making that a New Year’s resolution can help Canadians manage their financial expectations – and any surprises – in 2022.” 

Lucreziano added that finding ways to alleviate financial stress is imperative, as this is clearly a key factor in overall well-being.  

Wall Street’s Take

On December 20, BMO Capital analyst Sohrab Movahedi maintained a Buy rating on CM with a C$165 price target. This implies 11.8% upside potential.  

Overall, analysts’ consensus on Wall Street is that CM is a Strong Buy based on seven Buys. The average Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce price target of C$165.72 implies 12.1% upside potential to current levels. 

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