Emergency savings funds low; Canadians focus on debt management
TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - Over half (57 per cent) of Canadians
don't have any savings set aside for a rainy day, and three-in-ten (30 per cent) report they dipped into their savings
to help pay for every day expenses or an emergency, according to the
October RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index (RBC CCO).
Canadians are, however, very focused on finding ways to manage their
finances. Over the next 12 months, 33 per cent plan to reduce their
debt, 30 per cent intend to spend less, 21 per cent expect to save or
invest more and 21 per cent plan to take all of these actions.
"Helping Canadians find ways to manage their debts while building their
savings is where financial planning advice can really make a
difference," said Ashif Ratanshi, head of Branch Investments, Deposits
and Direct Investing at RBC Royal Bank. "Achieving the right balance is
key - being able to set aside even a small amount of money each month
can help Canadians achieve their future goals."
The RBC CCO also found that fewer Canadians appear to be optimistic
about their outlook for the country's economy. One-quarter (26 per cent) anticipate that
the national economy will improve over the next year, down 16 points
from the previous quarterly RBC CCO.
Canadians are not alone in tempering their outlook. The most recent RBC Economic Outlook projects 2.4 per cent growth for the Canadian economy in 2011, a
reduction of 0.8 percentage points from the forecast issued in June.
The overall RBC CCO Index, meanwhile, is at 70 points, down 24 points
from last quarter, as measured against its baseline of 100 established
in November 2009.
"The drop in the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index reflects ongoing
global economic uncertainty, showing that strong Canadian economic
fundamentals insulate us but do not make us immune to the turmoil
around the globe," noted Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief
economist, RBC. "Given the uncertainty, the drop in the index was not
unexpected, though it was disappointing."
The RBC CCO is Canada's most comprehensive consumer assessment of the
economy, personal financial situation and economic and purchasing
expectations. Other national highlights from the October RBC CCO include:
Personal Finance: Almost one-third (32 per cent) of Canadians think that their personal
financial situation will improve over the next year, down seven
percentage points from the previous quarter.
Job Anxiety: Concern about jobs remains unchanged from the previous quarter, with 22
per cent of Canadians worried about someone in their household losing
their job or being laid off.
Major Purchases: More than half (54 per cent) of Canadian families are delaying major
purchases such as a car, household appliances or vacation spending due
to economic conditions. Almost half (47 per cent) expect that their
family will spend less on such purchases in the upcoming year.
The national RBC CCO release, full set of regional releases and related
comparative data charts can be accessed via www.rbc.com/newsroom/2011/1026-cdn-consumer.html.
About RBC's debt management and other financial advice and interactive
RBC's myFinanceTracker, a new online financial management tool, offers all personal RBC online banking clients the ability, at no cost, to create a set budget and track their
spending habits. Whether Canadians 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
provide customized information covering many facets of personal
finance. In addition, online advice videos are updated regularly to
reflect current trends and to answer the questions that are top of mind
with Canadians. 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. Further information is available at www.rbcadvicecentre.com.
About the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index
Benchmarked as of November 2009, the RBC CCO is conducted online via
Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer Panel. Data was collected between
September 26 to October 3, 2011, via 3,054 Canadians (453 British
Columbia, 454 Alberta, 458 Saskatchewan/ Manitoba, 705 Ontario, 516
Quebec, 467 Atlantic 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 ±1.65 percentage
points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the
entire population of adults in Canada been polled.
For further information:
Kathy Bevan, RBC Corporate Communications, 416 974-2727, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elyse Lalonde, RBC Media Relations, 416 974-8810, email@example.com