Canadians losing sleep over their finances: RBC Canadian
Consumer Outlook Index
Canadians' expectations for overall economic performance
TORONTO, April 1, 2010 — According to the March
RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index, most Canadians
(65 per cent) are losing sleep over their finances. More than
one-in-four Canadians (27 per cent) are up at night worrying
about paying off their debt, followed by nearly one-in-five
(18 per cent) who worry about having enough for retirement
and 16 per cent who worry about having no emergency fund.
The survey also found that one-in-three (34 per cent) were
not confident about any aspect of their financial situation.
More Canadians believe the national economy will worsen over
the next 12 months (20 per cent in March compared to 13 per
cent in February). Similar to last month's findings, Canadians
are still divided on the overall state of the economy, but
the balance remains in positive territory with 54 per cent
of Canadians believing the economy is good and 46 per cent
describing it as bad. Overall, the March RBC Canadian Consumer
Outlook Index remained virtually flat at 108 points, down
from 109 in February, suggesting Canadians see the overall
economic recovery as a bumpy road ahead.
"For Canadians losing sleep over their finances, my
advice is to prioritize those worries from biggest to smallest,
and to create a step-by-step plan to tackle them," said
David McKay, group head, Canadian Banking, RBC. "This
is where professional advice can be invaluable. RBC has financial
planners across Canada who can help develop a realistic plan
with financial milestones that will get you back on the path
to a good night's sleep."
Other national highlights include:
- Job Anxiety: One-in-five Canadians (22 per cent)
say that a member of their household is worried about losing
their job or being laid off, down from one-in-four (25 per
cent) last month. Job anxiety levels increased in British
Columbia (29 per cent, up two percentage points) and Quebec
(23 per cent, up six percentage points).
Atlantic Canada remained unchanged at 24 per cent, while
levels decreased in all other regions of the country. The
lowest levels of job anxiety were in Manitoba and Saskatchewan
(11 per cent, down two percentage points) and Ontario (20
per cent, down 10 percentage points).
- Personal Financial Situation (Overall): The percentage
of Canadians who think that their personal financial situation
will improve in the next three months has climbed to 33
per cent in March, compared to 30 per cent in February.
Looking ahead, 44 per cent of Canadians expect their personal
economic situation to improve over the next year.
- Interest Rates: More than two-thirds of Canadians
(69 per cent) expect interest rates to go up in the next
six months, up from 65 per cent in February. One-in-three
Canadians (27 per cent) expect interest rates will remain
unchanged over the same period.
"With solid consumer spending, historically low interest
rates and improved credit markets, an economic recovery is
underway. We forecast real GDP growth of 3.1 per cent for
2010," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief
economist, RBC. "However, Canadians may be worried about
impending interest rate hikes and the strength of the Canadian
dollar, which may be responsible for the slight drop in the
Index and their weakening expectations of economic performance
in both the short- and long-term."
Whether Canadians want to borrow with confidence, get more
from their everyday banking, protect what's important, save
and invest or take care of their businesses, the RBC Advice
can help answer their questions. Advice videos are updated
regularly to reflect current trends and to answer the questions
that are top of mind with Canadians. Interactive tools and
calculators provide customized information covering many facets
of personal finance. With the guidance of RBC advisors who
are available to chat live, Canadians have access to free,
no-obligation professional advice about RBC products and services
and personalized one-on-one service.
About The RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook
The RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index, benchmarked
as of November 2009, is based on the results of an online
survey of 1,020 Canadians, ages 18 and over, conducted by
Ipsos Reid between March 9 and 15, 2010. This data represents
the most timely and comprehensive snapshot of consumer attitudes
regarding their finances and the economy in Canada. Weighting
was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that
the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population
according to Census data and to provide results intended to
approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted
probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response
rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±3.1
percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results
would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada
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For more information, please contact:
RBC Corporate Communications, (416) 974-2727
RBC Media Relations, (416) 974-2124
Note to editors: The RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook
Index will be moving to a quarterly publication, with an enhanced
sample size and regional indices. The next RBC Canadian Consumer
Outlook Index will be distributed in July.