Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents on the economy: More than half say the worst is yet to come

2023-04-11  3 minute read

Pamela Meger

MNP Consumer Debt Index

Concern about inflation and interest rates lingers, as more than half say they’ll be in financial trouble if interest rates go up much more.

  • More than half believe the worst part of the economic cycle is yet to come (55%).
  • A third feel economic conditions over the last six months were worse than they expected (33%).
  • More than half still say they’ll be in financial trouble if rates increase much more (55%, -6pts).
  • Nearly half (45%, unchanged) report they’re $200 away or less from not being able to meet all of their financial obligations at month’s end; three in 10 (29%, +1pt) are already insolvent.

REGINA, SK – April 11, 2023 – Personal finances continue to be a source of stress for Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents; more than half anticipate that the situation will continue to deteriorate, according to the latest MNP Consumer Debt Index conducted quarterly by Ipsos. When asked about the impact of Canada’s current economic conditions on their personal finances, more than half (55%) of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents believe the worst is yet to come, while three in 10 (31%) think we are currently experiencing the worst part of the economic cycle. Only 14 percent are optimistic enough to say the worst is behind us.

“Many Saskatchewan residents feel the worst is yet to come, and rightfully so. Indebted households continue to face inflation and sharply higher interest rates,” says Pamela Meger, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee with MNP LTD in Regina. “There is little financial wiggle-room in many household budgets, highlighting the impacts of higher interest rates — particularly on those who can least afford them.”

A third (33%) of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents feel economic conditions over the last six months were worse than they expected. Nearly half (45%, unchanged) report that they are $200 away or less from not being able to meet all of their financial obligations at month’s end. That includes three in 10 (29%, +1pt) who already don’t make enough to cover their bills and debt payments. While the number of insolvent individuals remains consistent, the average amount of money households have left over at the end of the month has increased slightly to $776, up $23 from the previous quarter.

With interest rates stabilizing after last year’s successive increases, Meger notes that Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents are feeling some reprieve. Significantly fewer are worried about their ability to pay their debts as interest rates rise, although six in 10 (60%, -12pts) are still concerned. More than half are confident they can cover all living / family expenses in the next year without going into debt (57%, +6pts). Fewer than half are concerned about their current level of debt (44%, -6pts).

Additionally, Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents are the least likely (57%) to be concerned about the impact of rising interest rates on their financial situation compared to the other provinces — down seven points since last quarter. Fewer (55%, -6pts) also say they will be in financial trouble if interest rates go up much more — although the proportion is still more than half of residents. Despite a nine-point drop since last quarter, most Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents continue to be more careful with how they spend their money (82%).

"The results reveal Saskatchewan residents have developed a more positive financial outlook. Concerns are still lingering at elevated levels, which reflects the worries many still have surrounding inflation and interest rates. Many lower-income households simply don’t have a financial cushion to fall back on," Meger explains.

“Regardless of your financial outlook, Saskatchewan residents need to be proactive about managing the debt,” advises Meger. “Be diligent in tracking your budget and set aside funds for unexpected expenses such as a car repair or increased debt servicing costs. If you receive a tax refund, consider using it to pay down debts or put it in an emergency fund to prepare for those unexpected expenses.”

Meger advises that Saskatchewan residents struggling to pay their bills should seek professional help right away to avoid a cycle of increasing debt and interest payments, which often lead to longer-term financial hardship.

“Due to the social stigma surrounding Bankruptcy, people are often hesitant to seek assistance, leading to a longer period of financial stress and the possibility of more severe problems such as harassing calls from collection agencies or wage garnishments,” she says.

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are the only debt-relief professionals who can offer unbiased, customized advice about all of the debt-relief options, including informal debt settlement, Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy. They can stop or prevent collection calls and wage garnishments, as well as offer legal protection from creditor actions. MNP offers free consultations with Licensed Insolvency Trustees across Canada.


MNP LTD, a division of the national accounting firm MNP LLP, is the largest insolvency practice in Canada. For more than 50 years, our experienced team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees and advisors have been working with individuals to help them recover from times of financial distress and regain control of their finances. With more than 240 offices from coast to coast, MNP helps thousands of Canadians each year who are struggling with an overwhelming amount of debt. Visit to contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee or use our free Do it Yourself (DIY) debt assessment tools. For regular, bite-sized insights about debt and personal finances, subscribe to the MNP 3- Minute Debt Break Podcast.

About the MNP Consumer Debt Index

The MNP Consumer Debt Index measures Canadians’ attitudes toward their consumer debt and gauges their ability to pay their bills, endure unexpected expenses, and absorb interest-rate fluctuations without approaching insolvency. Conducted by Ipsos and updated quarterly, the Index is an industry-leading barometer of financial pressure or relief among Canadians.

Now in its twenty-fourth wave, the Index has rebounded to 89 points, up 12 points from the all-time low recorded last quarter. Visit to learn more.

The data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between March 7 and March 14, 2023. For this survey, a sample of 2,004 Canadians aged 18 years and over was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error and measurement error.

National data is available upon request.

Consultation icon