Albertans worried about debt and job security, according to RBC Canadian
Consumer Outlook

Optimism about an improved Canadian economy remains highest in the country

TORONTO, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - The January RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook report finds that nearly two-in-three (63 per cent) of Alberta residents say they are worried about their current debt level, compared to 58 per cent nationally. However, Albertans do expect to have their debt paid off by the age of 57, which falls in line with the national average.

The survey also found that job anxiety in Alberta has risen to 31 per cent, from 28 per cent in December and remains among the highest levels in the country. Job anxiety is up in every province and nationally, one-in-four Canadians (26 per cent) say that a member of their household is worried about losing their job or being laid off, up significantly from one-in-five (21 per cent) in December.

"Some Albertans are feeling anxiety over their debt and job security, but we're still the most optimistic in the country about the Canadian economy over the next year," said Bruce MacKenzie, regional president, Alberta and the Territories, RBC. "Developing and sticking to a financial plan is the best route to peace of mind and a secure future."

    Other provincial highlights include:

    National Economy: Albertans continue to have an optimistic outlook on the
    current Canadian economy with more than half (55 per cent) rating it as
    good, seven per cent higher than the national average of 48 per cent.
    That optimism carries over to the coming year, with 64 per cent of
    Albertans expecting the Canadian economy to improve in the next twelve
    months, the highest level in the country and compared to 56 per cent

    -   Personal Financial Situation (Overall): When it comes to their
        personal financial situation, four-in-ten (43 per cent) Albertans
        feel their situation has worsened in the last three months, compared
        to just 29 per cent in December. Looking ahead, close to
        half (47 per cent) of Albertans believe that their own financial
        situation will improve over the next year, similar to the national
        average (45 per cent). Nearly seven-in-ten Albertans (69 per cent)
        say that they will delay major purchases, a rise of 22 points since
        December and 13 points higher than the national average.

    -   Local Economy: One-in-three Albertans (33 per cent) believe that
        their local economy will improve over the next three months, compared
        to the national average of 28 per cent. While this figure is down
        nine percentage points from December (42 per cent), Alberta residents
        are the most positive in the country when it comes to prospects for
        their local economy during this time period.

"Our current growth forecast for Alberta is 2.6 per cent in 2010, rising to 4.4 per cent in 2011," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC.

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 1,014 Canadians, ages 18 and over, conducted by Ipsos Reid between January 8 and 14, 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.


For further information: For further information: Rina Cortese, RBC Corporate Communications, (416) 974-6970; Gillian McArdle, RBC Media Relations, (647) 400-8464

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