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October 24, 2017 | Canada Unprepared for the Payback Period

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel (www.venablepark.com) Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog: www.jugglingdynamite.com

The thing about economic expansions is that people are supposed to work, pay down debt and build up savings, so that they can ride out the economic downturn that follows.

Canadians have done the opposite over the past 8 years, and now approach 2018 with the highest debt and lowest cash savings in decades.  A recent Ipsos poll, conducted on behalf of MNP, confirms some grim facts:

          • 40% of respondents fear ending up in financial trouble if rates go up much higher, with 1/3rd already feeling the impact of higher rates and nearly half of households don’t feel financially prepared for further interest rate increases.
          • 42% of respondents said they don’t think they can cover basic expenses over the next year without going deeper into more debt.
          • The same number said they’re already within $200 of not being able to cover monthly expenses. Here is a direct link to a video report.

Bottom line: even if the Bank of Canada were to stay pat, or move to cutting rates again in the new year, Canadians are tapped out in terms of commitments that their income can service.  As shown in the latest weak retail sales report for August, they have already begun pulling in spending pretty much across the board, even while still at a cyclical low in unemployment.

Canadian households, the economy and government budgets are woefully unprepared for the payback period now ahead.

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October 24th, 2017

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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