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Purchasing Power - Report and Outlooks 2019-2020

The purchasing power of residents in the Québec City census metropolitan area (CMA) increased in 2019. The disposable income per capita rose 3.1%, the fourth-highest increase among Canada’s eight major CMAs. At the same time, the second-lowest increase in the cost of living was recorded in Québec City with an inflation rate of 1.5%. As a result, real purchasing power per capita grew by 1.6% in the area, the strongest growth among the country’s major metropolitan areas.

In fact, over the last five years (2014-2019), Quebec has seen the highest increases in hourly wages in Canada. A phenomenon that reflects the situation of labour scarcity that is particularly prevalent in the province of Quebec. Workers in the Québec City area saw a wage increase of nearly 16% over this period, the second-highest performance among the country’s eight largest CMAs, behind the Montréal area.

In 2020, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will affect household budgets across the country. Although several government measures have been put in place to cushion the shock, some households will face difficult situations.

As the crisis is still developing, its consequences on purchasing power remain unpredictable. However, this analysis contains a review of the year 2019 and looks to the future through a profile of the finances of the Québec City CMA residents before the virus arrived.