Skip navigation

The results are in! Latest BMO Real Financial Progress Index results show increased financial confidence alongside reasons for concern

September 8, 2021 | Customers

Canadian and U.S. consumers more confident, however Canadians’ financial anxiety remains high, while negative financial behaviors tick up in U.S.

The results from the third wave of the BMO Real Financial Progress Index are in! The survey, conducted in Canada and the United States in partnership with Ipsos, is an indicator of how consumers feel about their personal finances and whether they are making financial progress. Its opinion poll aims to spark dialogue that will help consumers reach their financial goals and humanize a topic that causes anxiety for many – money.

Here are the topline findings about consumers in each country, followed by tips for consumers to maintain (and gain!) financial momentum:

In Canada

Canadians Show Signs of Increased Financial Confidence, but Sources of Anxiety Remain Real

With travel restrictions loosening and some provinces reaching their vaccination targets, Canadians are beginning to take advantage of opportunities to experience normal activities and are feeling increasingly confident that their financial situations are improving.

Check out the graphic below for a summary of findings:

“Although progress has been made since the pandemic started, its important for Canadians to continue building on their financial foundation by evolving their financial goals and plans they will follow to achieve them,” said Gayle Ramsay, Head, Everyday Banking and Customer Growth, BMO.

To read the full story of how consumers are feeling about their financial progress in Canada, read today’s BMO press release (link).

In the United States

Consumers’ Increased Financial Confidence Leading to Poor Financial Decisions

As the U.S. continues to make its way through the pandemic, a majority of Americans believe they are making real financial progress. However, trends from BMO’s Real Financial Progress Index point to increases in consumer confidence potentially leading to negative behaviors that could undo consumers’ financial progress – specifically a plateau in how many set financial goals, an increase in excessive spending, and more impulse spending.

Check out the graphic below for a summary of findings:

“While it’s encouraging that many Americans are feeling confident they’re accomplishing real financial progress, we want to ensure their progress is sustainable through the economic recovery,” said Paul Dilda, head of consumer strategy for BMO Harris Bank. “Consumers should continue to focus on the long term while the economy is good to continue the progress many made last year. They can work with their bank or other trusted financial advisor to ensure they don’t unintentionally slow their financial momentum.”

To read the full story of how consumers are feeling about their financial progress in the U.S., read today’s the BMO press release (link).

Tips for maintaining financial progress

BMO is offering the below tips to reduce financial stress and to maintain meaningful financial progress:

  • Talk about money with trusted individuals – friends, family, or a professional banker, financial planner, or other advisor.
  • Re-evaluate financial goals when either your individual financial situation or broader economic conditions change. This includes checking that your budget, debt profile, credit report and emergency savings remains where you’d like them to be for future financial goals.
  • Take advantage of programs and educational resources. A professional can suggest programs and tools that are not well known based on an individual’s unique goals and financial situation.

Related Insights