Half of Canadians optimistic about finances - despite having little wiggle room in household budgets: BDO poll

62% would struggle with monthly bill payments if increased by $300, causing concern for debt experts.

TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Many Canadians believe that 2016 will be a good year for them financially, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of BDO Canada Limited. But just over half of respondents think interest rates will rise this year, and if rates do rise, many will have difficulty dealing with increased monthly debt payments.

The poll reported that half of Canadians (49%) believe their overall debt levels will be better by the end of 2016, while 44% of Canadians feel their net worth will be better by the end of the year.

"While we are encouraged to see that many Canadians are optimistic about their abilities to pay down debt and grow their net worth in the coming year, the low tolerance for Canadians' household budgets to handle fairly small increases in monthly payments remains a worry" says Doug Jones, President of BDO Canada Limited. "With our debt-to-income ratio already at record high levels, it is worrisome to hear that 40 percent of Canadians anticipate they will not be able to reduce this in the year ahead".

Key Poll Findings (**For full tabular results, please visit our website at www.ipsos-na.com).

  • 49% of respondents believe overall debt levels will be better by end of 2016 (13% much / 35% somewhat), with 11% (2% much / 9% somewhat) expecting them to be worse and 40% forecasting no change.
  • 44% expect their net worth will be better by end of 2016 (10% much/33% somewhat), while 13% expect it to be worse (3% much/10% somewhat) and 43% expect no change.
  • 51% expect an increase in interest rates in 2016 (6% a lot/45% a little), 10% expect a decrease in rates (1% a lot/ 9% a little) and 39% expect them to remain steady.

If monthly debt payments
went up by…

%  who would experience difficulty
(extreme/moderate)

$100

29% (12%/18%)

$200

46% (22%/24%)

$300

62% (39%/24%)

$400

71% (52%/19%)

$500

77% (62%/15%)

$600 or more

80% (70%/10%)

  • Many life events would pose a challenge to their financial stability including: long-term injury or illness (70%), personal or family member job loss (63%), retirement (53%), separation / divorce (46%) and paying for post-secondary education (44%).

About BDO Canada Limited's Financial Recovery Services practice:

BDO Canada Limited's Financial Recovery Services practice is one of Canada's oldest (operating since 1958) and largest debt help firms, with offices across the country. BDO's advisors include Licensed Insolvency Trustees (Officers of the Court and licensed by the OSB) and Proposal Administrators providing credit counseling, consumer proposals and personal bankruptcy services.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid survey conducted between January 5 and 8, 2016, on behalf of BDO. A sample of 1,007 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel were interviewed. The sample is considered accurate to within +/-3.5 percentage points had all Canadians been surveyed.

SOURCE BDO Canada Limited

For further information: Media inquiries please contact: Eric McLean at Environics Communications, 416-969-2756, emclean@environicspr.com


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