Most people think their financial smarts are better than the "average
TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Most Canadian consumers think their own level of knowledge about
finances is above that of the "average Canadian", according to the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook (RBC CCO). Most (70 per cent) describe their own financial smarts as
"excellent/good", while only three-in-10 (30 per cent) feel the same
about their neighbours. In fact, most (65 per cent) think that the
average Canadian's level of financial knowledge is "not very good",
with almost the same number (64 per cent) believing that financial
literacy is a serious issue that needs improvement.
Despite confidence in their financial knowledge, consumers say that they
are willing to take steps to improve their knowledge, including:
speaking to a financial advisor (36 per cent)
reading newspapers and listening to business reports on TV and radio (30
getting advice from financially savvy friends and family (30 per cent)
visiting websites of banks and investment firms (22 per cent)
taking a course (13 per cent)
"It's in everyone's best interest and beneficial to the country as a
whole to have consumers with a high degree of financial knowledge,"
said Richard Goyder, vice-president, Personal Lending, RBC. "When
purchasing a new home, saving for the future or investing, it's
important to be informed. Through the financial literacy partnerships
we support and the advice we provide, RBC helps educate consumers so
they can make successful financial choices."
In addition to questions about financial knowledge, the quarterly RBC
CCO asked Canadians about the national economy and found that they are
evenly split on whether they think the economy will improve (30 per
cent) or worsen (29 per cent) in the next year. The latest RBC Economic Outlook projected that Canada's economy will grow by a moderate 2.1 per cent in
"The pace of consumer spending has slowed, which is likely a reflection
of Canadians exercising a higher degree of caution due to elevated
levels of household debt and volatility in financial markets," said
Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "As we
move into 2013, however, we project a solid rise in consumer spending,
supported by modest economic growth, an improvement in the unemployment
rate and stabilizing housing prices."
There were a few areas of improvement in the RBC CCO. The latest study
found that Canadians are more likely to think their personal financial
situation will improve over the next three months (24 per cent versus
21 per cent). In addition, fewer consumers (50 per cent) are delaying
making any major purchases, such as new cars or household appliances,
compared to last quarter (52 per cent).
Other RBC CCO highlights:
Economic Outlook: This quarter, 30 per cent of Canadians think the national economy will
improve in 2012. This optimism is shared by 45 per cent of Albertans,
34 per cent of British Columbians and Saskatchewan/Manitoba residents,
28 per cent of Ontarians, 25 per cent of Atlantic Canadians and 24 per
cent of Quebecers.
Job Anxiety: Nationally, job anxiety stands at 19 per cent. Regionally, Ontario (24
per cent) leads the country, followed by Atlantic Canada (20 per cent),
Saskatchewan/Manitoba (18 per cent), Quebec (17 per cent), British
Columbia (15 per cent) and Alberta (12 per cent).
About RBC's debt management and other financial advice and interactive
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, including the free Learning Money with Leo iPad app to help families teach children the value of money, the Debt Reduction Plan and the Debt Consolidation Calculator. 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 rbcadvicecentre.com. In addition, RBC's myFinanceTracker, a comprehensive 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 and to access tax-related apps in RBC's myTax Centre, to help manage and plan their taxes.
About the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook
The survey is conducted online via Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer
Panel to 3,027 Canadians (450 British Columbia, 449 Alberta, 453
Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 714 Ontario, 510 Quebec, 451 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. Data collection was July 3 to 9, 2012. 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 ±1.8 percentage points,
19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire
population of adults in Canada been polled.
Image with caption: "RBC CANADIAN CONSUMER OUTLOOK SUMMER 2012 (CNW Group/RBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120924_C8818_PHOTO_EN_18221.jpg
For further information:
Suzanne Willers, RBC, 416-974-2727, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Yurincich, RBC, 416-974-1031, email@example.com