Job anxiety improves in Alberta but remains among the highest in the country:
RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook

Albertans are losing sleep over their finances

TORONTO, April 1 /CNW/ - The March RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook report finds that job anxiety has improved in Alberta, dropping three points from last month to 26 per cent, but remains among the highest in the country, second only to British Columbia, and above the national average of 22 per cent.

Two-in-three Albertans (66 per cent) are kept awake at night by financial concerns, including concern over paying off some or all of their debt (28 per cent) and having enough money for their retirement (27 per cent, which is considerably higher than the national average of 18 per cent). Thirty-one per cent of Albertans are not confident about their financial situation.

"At RBC, advice and planning is the way we do business. For some Albertans worried about paying down debt or saving for retirement, our advice would be to develop a realistic, step-by-step plan to achieve your goals," said Bruce MacKenzie, regional president, Alberta and the Territories, RBC. "Having a plan in place can go a long way to building confidence in your financial situation and easing the worry."

Other provincial highlights include:

    
    -   National Economy: Aside from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Albertans are
        the most optimistic about the national economy, with two-in-three (63
        per cent) believing the state of the economy is good, up 10
        percentage points from February, and significantly higher than the
        national average of 54 per cent. Alberta residents also remain among
        the most optimistic in the country about short-term prospects for the
        national economy, with 44 per cent believing it will improve over the
        next three months. However, this is down significantly (15 percentage
        points) since February and compares to a national average of 36 per
        cent. Albertans' optimism carries over to the long term, with 64 per
        cent believing the national economy will continue to improve in the
        next year (seven percentage points higher than the national average).

    -   Local Economy: Albertans are the most optimistic in the country about
        the short-term prospects of their local economy, with 41 per cent
        expecting it to improve compared to 29 per cent nationally.

    -   Personal Financial Situation: Despite a drop of 10 points since last
        month, one half (50 per cent) of Albertans believe their personal
        financial situation will improve over the next year, the highest
        proportion in the country (compared to the national average of 44 per
        cent). Thirty-two per cent of Albertans expect their personal
        finances to improve over the next three months, a drop of 11 per cent
        since February, but still in line with the national average of 33 per
        cent.
    

"While Alberta is experiencing slow economic growth, activity is expected to gain momentum through 2010, generating real GDP growth of 2.5 per cent this year," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC.

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 Centre www.rbcadvicecentre.com 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 Index

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 been polled.

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.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE RBC

For further information: For further information: To speak to an RBC advisor or receive our top tips for reducing financial worries, please contact: Suzanne Willers, RBC Corporate Communications, (416) 974-2727; Matt Gierasimczuk, RBC Media Relations, (416) 974-2124


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