A report released yesterday is warning of very high levels of personal household debt in Canada:
Canadian families are increasingly using credit to cover day-to-day living expenses, pushing national household debt to $1.3-trillion, according to the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.
CGA-Canada warned Tuesday that many individuals are unaware of how the economic downturn has hit their financial situation, and they continue to load up their credit cards and lines of credit while skimping on savings.
According to the association’s report, a consumer survey in November indicated 85 per cent of households had outstanding debt on a credit card.
And 21 per cent of Canadians who were in debt said they could no longer manage their debt load.
I can’t imagine this will be improving quickly with the jump in EI beneficiaries. Of course Canadian families aren’t the only ones having trouble making a budget and sticking to it. The government of Canada announced yesterday that the deficit would be ‘substantially more’ than predicted four months ago, but has not yet said how much more. A few hours later the BC government commented that they will likely be unable to stay under the $495 million deficit limit they promised during the election.