British Columbians not saving for a rainy day; focus on managing debt
TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - Almost six-in-ten British Columbians (58
per cent) have not set any money aside in a rainy day fund and 32 per cent have had to dip into their savings to help pay for
every day expenses or an emergency, according to the October RBC
Canadian Consumer Outlook Index (RBC CCO). This compares to 57 per cent and 30 per cent nationally.
Still, British Columbians intend to take positive actions to manage
their finances in the upcoming year. Over one-quarter (28 per cent)
plan to focus on reducing debt or are now focusing on reducing their
debt, 30 per cent intend to spend less, 19 per cent want to save or
invest more and 24 per cent say they will take all of these actions.
"We're clearly seeing consumers in B.C. focus on what's important to
them financially," said Graham MacLachlan, regional president, British
Columbia, RBC. "Good financial planning advice and a sound plan can
make a big difference in helping people find ways to save, pay their
monthly bills and manage their debt."
The RBC CCO also found that job anxiety levels are high on the west coast, with 23 per cent worried about job
loss or layoffs. The most recent RBC Economic Outlook referenced some of the pressures on job creation in the province, and
projected a slower economic growth rate of 2.1 per cent, down from the
earlier forecast of 2.6 per cent.
"The reinstatement of the old PST and subsequent uncertainty could weigh
on the pace of business investment and job creation in the province,"
noted Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC.
The RBC CCO is Canada's most comprehensive consumer assessment of the
economy, personal financial situation and economic and purchasing
expectations. Other provincial highlights from the October RBC CCO include:
Personal Financial Situation: At 27 per cent, British Columbians have among the lowest expectations
that their own personal financial situation will improve over the next
year, below the national average of 32 per cent.
Major Purchases: Fifty-eight per cent of B.C. consumers have delayed making a major
purchase - such as a car, household appliances or spending on a
vacation - due to current economic conditions; 53 per cent intend to
spend less on such purchases over the next 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:
Ian Colvin, RBC Community Brand and Communications, B.C., 604 665-4031, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Bevan, RBC Corporate Communications, 416 974-2727, email@example.com
Craig Christie, RBC Corporate Communications, 416 974-8820, firstname.lastname@example.org