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The proportion of British Columbians who expect higher gasoline prices has doubled (from 39% to 81%) since January 2016.

Vancouver, BC – Three-in-five British Columbians believe the provincial economy is doing well, but four-in-five are expecting higher costs for groceries and gasoline in the next six months, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 61% of residents describe the economic conditions in British Columbia as “very good” or “good”, up 15 points since a similar Insights West poll conducted in January 2016.


One-in-five British Columbians (22%) think the provincial economy will decline over the next six months—including 26% of men and 25% of residents in the lowest income bracket.

Four-in-five British Columbians are expecting to pay more for a week’s worth of groceries (83%) and gasoline (81%, +42). More than half (52%) are also envisioning higher prices for real estate, and 44% expect to pay more for a new car.

“Last year, gas prices were not a big worry for British Columbians,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “The proportion of British Columbians who expect to pay more for fuel has doubled in a year.”

Two thirds of British Columbians (67%, +2) describe their own household’s finances as “very good” or “good”, while three-in-ten (30%, -3) claim they are “poor” or “very poor.” Three-in-five residents (63%, +2) do not foresee any change in their financial status over the next six months.

There is also a drop in the number of British Columbians who have been troubled by financial matters in the past couple of months, with 38% saying they have worried  “frequently” or “occasionally” about the value of their investments. Smaller proportions have been concerned about having to carry a balance on a credit card (35%), being able to pay their bills (34%), the safety of their savings (32%), unemployment affecting their household (also 32%), being able to pay their mortgage or rent (25%) or their employer running into serious financial trouble (20%).

In spite of the noticeable change on the rating of the provincial economy, some pockets of thriftiness persist in the province. At least a third of British Columbians say they will spend less on dining out (39%), entertainment (35%) and holidays (33%) in the next six months, while 41% will be buying new clothes less often than before.

Only one-in-four British Columbians (25%) believe they will get a raise at their current employer over the next six months, and smaller proportions expect to move to another house (18%), change careers (21%) or get a promotion (12%).

As far as big ticket items, only three-in-ten British Columbians (29%) are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to take an overseas holiday in the next six months, and even fewer plan to undertake a major home renovation (16%), or purchase a new vehicle (11%) or home (9%).

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from January 11 to January 13, 2017, among a representative sample of 831 British Columbian adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.4 percentage points. View the detailed data tabulations and presentation on the findings.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Andy S