TORONTO, November 27, 2012 - Heading into 2013, more (37 per cent) Canadian consumers feel their personal financial situation will improve than they did at this same time last year (32 per cent) and they are taking steps to be in better financial shape, according to the quarterly RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook (RBC CCO).
Looking ahead, one-in-three Canadians (31 per cent) are planning to focus on reducing their debt, 26 per cent on spending less, 25 per cent on saving or investing more, and another 20 per cent intend to take all of these actions in 2013. Canadians are also sending out a strong signal that less money will be going toward major purchases in 2013, with 44 per cent reporting they will spend less on big ticket items such as cars, household appliances or vacations. This is consistent with findings released earlier this month that Canadians intend to be more frugal this holiday season and that managing their debt is a key priority.
"Canadians may believe brighter days are ahead because they are making resolutions to better manage their finances by reducing debt and curbing spending not because of their outlook on the Canadian economy," said Richard Goyder, vice-president of personal lending, RBC. "While New Year's resolutions may start with great intentions and fizzle out later in the year, setting out a plan to reduce your debt, keep it under control and save more for that rainy day will help keep you on track."
The most recent Economic and Fiscal Update issued by the federal government in November estimated that Canada's real GDP will grow by 2.0 per cent in 2013. RBC Economics is currently forecasting the Canadian economy will grow by 2.4 per cent in 2013 and will be releasing its next Economic and Financial Outlook in December.
"The Canadian economy has been growing at a rate close to its long-run potential," noted Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "However, we will have a sharper picture of Canada's future growth prospects when the U.S. addresses the fiscal cliff and European policymakers can move the Eurozone out of recession and address fiscal and financial market imbalances."
The RBC CCO is Canada's most comprehensive consumer assessment of the economy, personal financial situation and economic and purchasing expectations. Benchmarked at a baseline of 100 in November 2009, the national overall RBC CCO Index rose to 82 in October 2012, up 12 basis points from this time last year and two points higher than the previous quarter. Highlights from the RBC CCO, Top 10 Financial Tune-up Tips for 2013 and Online Money Management Resources follow below.
Top 10 Financial Tune-up Tips for 2013
About RBC financial advice and interactive
Canadians can access RBC Financial Planning and rbc.com/savingsspot for free planning, budgeting and savings advice and resources, or to find the nearest Investment and Retirement Planner. In addition, Canadians who want to get more from their day-to-day banking, protect what's important, save and invest, borrow with confidence or take care of their businesses, the RBC Advice Centre can help answer
their questions. Interactive tools and calculators such as the Debt Reduction Plan and Debt Consolidation Calculator, provide customized information covering many facets of personal finance. All personal RBC online banking clients also can use myFinanceTracker, a no-cost interactive financial management tool, to create a set budget, track their spending habits and access tax-related apps in myTax Centre, to help manage and plan their taxes.
About the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook
Index (RBC CCO)
Benchmarked as of November 2009 to a baseline of 100, the RBC CCO is conducted online via Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer Panel to 3,375 Canadians (540 British Columbia, 540 Alberta, 469 Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 735 Ontario, 609 Quebec, 482 Atlantic Canada). Weighting is 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. Data collection was October 1 to 10, 2012. The precision of Ipsos Reid polls are calculated using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±1.9 percentage points of the entire Canadian population.
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