Credit monitoring agency Equifax says Canadians back on the debt.
Data compiled by the credit rating agency for the second quarter finds that, overall, outstanding consumer debt—the money owed by all Canadians--grew 7.2 per cent to $1.45 trillion from $1.35 trillion a year ago. Debt grew 1.8 per cent from the first quarter.
That is, the current recovery in the economy is, to some extent, driven by the accumulation of debt. Not so good in terms of long-term economic potential. Canadians are not unwinding their debt-dependent personal financial situation—necessary for long-term growth.
There is some good news. The rate of delinquencies fell to its lowest level since the recession began to five years ago. The national delinquency rate, a measure of bills that are overdue by 90 days, fell by 2.8 per cent. As well, consumer bankruptcies dropped by five per cent compared with the same time last year. So that’s good.
On average, according to Equifax, Canadians hold $20,759 in debt without factoring in mortgages. Albertans are leaders in credit accumulation. Requests for loaned money have been rising for five quarters now.