Canadians increasingly worried about debt, survey finds
Half of Canadians are on the verge of insolvency, according to a survey on household debt levels in this country.
The latest MNP Consumer Debt Index published Monday shows 50 per cent of respondents said they're within $200 of not being able to cover their monthly bills, and nearly an equal proportion of participants in the survey (49 per cent) said they aren't confident in their ability to cover expenses without going deeper into debt.
“Our findings may point to a shift among some Canadians from debt apathy to debt hopelessness. Feelings of hopelessness can make people feel like giving up on ever paying down their debt or, worse, ignoring the debt as it piles up higher,” said MNP President Grant Bazian in a release.
The survey, which was conducted in early December and involved interviews with 2,000 Canadians aged 18 and higher,
The survey underscores the extent to which household balance sheets have become stretched in Canada, but it's by no means the only indicator as the Bank of Canada prepares to release its next interest rate decision on Wednesday.
One week ago, the central bank's survey of consumer expectations revealed a widening gap in spending growth expectations versus anticipated income growth, suggesting consumers will either have to borrow more or cut their spending plans.
And the most recent data from Statistics Canada similarly exposed mounting vulnerabilities, with the seasonally-adjusted credit market debt to disposable income ratio rising to 171.84 in the third quarter. This means Canadians, on average, owed almost $1.72 for every dollar of disposable income.