Increases to Consumer Debt Highest in Ontario, Lowest in Western Canada

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TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 5, 2017) - Ontario consumers are adding to their debt faster than any other province, while consumers in Western Canada have significantly reined in their spending according to Equifax Canada's 2017 Q2 National Consumer Credit Trends Report.

In comparison to the second quarter of 2016, total consumer debt across Canada (including mortgages) climbed to $1.769 trillion nationally up from $1.666 trillion a year ago, an increase of 6.2 per cent. Taking mortgages out the equation, Ontario's average consumer debt increased by 5.1 per cent over the same time period - the highest in the country. By contrast, Saskatchewan and Alberta had the lowest increases at 1.7 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.

"Desire to take on more debt is certainly highest in Ontario," explained Regina Malina, Senior Director of Data & Analytics at Equifax Canada. "Even in the face of potential increase of interest rates, consumers across the country continue to borrow and spend to some degree. Their overall ability to pay back this money on time remains stable though. As interest rates gradually rise, and borrowing costs increase, this trend may be impacted over time."

In fact, delinquency rates, which were already low, are moving in the right direction in every province compared to previous trends. In Alberta, the delinquency rate increased by just 1.7 per cent compared to a year ago, following two years of larger quarterly increases. Ontario, P.E.I and B.C. saw lower delinquency rates with decreases of 8.1 per cent, 10.6 per cent and 9.8 per cent respectively.

In the second quarter of 2017, the average consumer debt (exclusive of mortgage debt), increased to $22,595 and the overall delinquency rate lowered to 1.09 per cent. On a debt classification basis, installment loan, mortgage, and auto loan sectors increased significantly to 8.7 per cent, 6.9 per cent and 5.9 per cent year-over-year, respectively.

From an age perspective, delinquency rates are also in retreat for every age group from Millennials aged 18 to 25 (-5.3 per cent) to Seniors (-7.3 per cent). The 65+ age group also had the highest increase to its average debt (4.3 per cent), while Millennials had the lowest increase (1.7 per cent).

"Seniors continue to surprise us by how they are managing their debt," said Malina. "They're adding debt, which would normally be a concern. However, they're having no trouble with payments. Likewise, it's encouraging to see Millennials improving their relationship with debt and keeping up with their payments."

Province Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates*

Average Debt
(Q2 2017)
Average Debt Change
Year-over-Year
(Q2 2017 vs. Q2 2016)
Delinquency Rate
(Q2 2017)
Delinquency Rate Change Year-over-Year
(Q2 2017 vs. Q2 2016)
Ontario $ 22,671 5.1 % 0.98 % -8.1 %
Quebec $ 18,907 2.3 % 0.99 % -6.0 %
Nova Scotia $ 22,504 2.5 % 1.70 % 1.2 %
New Brunswick $ 23,221 3.0 % 1.69 % 0.9 %
PEI $ 22,448 2.9 % 1.33 % -10.6 %
Newfoundland $ 23,627 2.4 % 1.53 % 18.6 %
Eastern Region $ 22,973 2.6 % 1.63 % 3.7 %
Alberta $ 28,240 1.8 % 1.41 % 1.7 %
Manitoba $ 18,536 1.9 % 1.28 % 6.5 %
Saskatchewan $ 24,690 1.7 % 1.35 % 10.9 %
British Columbia $ 24,026 2.1 % 0.87 % -9.8 %
Western Region $ 25,037 1.8 % 1.16 % -1.2 %
Canada $ 22,595 3.3 % 1.09 % -4.2 %

City Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates*

Average Debt
(Q2 2017)
Average Debt Change
Year-over-Year
(Q2 2017 vs. Q2 2016)
Delinquency Rate
(Q2 2017)
Delinquency Rate Change Year-over-Year
(Q2 2017 vs. Q2 2016)
Calgary $ 29,261 2.4 % 1.20 % 4.6 %
Edmonton $ 27,224 2.0 % 1.48 % 4.8 %
Halifax $ 23,732 1.5 % 1.47 % -0.8 %
Montreal $ 17,370 1.6 % 1.23 % -5.0 %
Ottawa $ 21,914 2.8 % 0.96 % -2.3 %
Toronto $ 21,599 5.6 % 1.16 % -7.6 %
Vancouver $ 25,232 4.0 % 0.70 % -12.7 %
St. John's $ 25,236 2.1 % 1.46 % 22.4 %
Fort McMurray $ 37,831 1.1 % 1.70 % 5.9 %
Age Group Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates*
Average Debt
(Q2 2017)
Average Debt Change Year-over-Year
(Q2 2017 vs. Q2 2016)
Delinquency Rate
(Q2 2017)
Delinquency Rate Change Year-over-Year
(Q2 2017 vs. Q2 2016)
18-25 $ 8,345 1.7 % 1.67 % -5.3 %
26-35 $ 17,365 3.1 % 1.58 % -3.7 %
36-45 $ 27,261 3.0 % 1.28 % -2.5 %
46-55 $ 33,532 4.0 % 0.94 % -3.7 %
56-65 $ 28,566 3.5 % 0.82 % -5.1 %
65+ $ 15,651 4.3 % 0.88 % -7.3 %
Canada $ 22,595 3.3 % 1.09 % -4.2 %

*Data for the Equifax Canada 2017 Q2 National Consumer Credit Trends Report, including scores, is sourced from Equifax Canada, the repository of the majority of credit transactions that occur in Canada. There are over 25 million unique Equifax Canada consumer credit files. Transaction volumes for data are estimated at 105 million per month. Information provided in this report was adjusted to ensure that quarterly data reflects the results as of the last month of each quarter.

About Equifax®

Equifax is a global information solutions company that uses trusted unique data, innovative analytics, technology and industry expertise to power organizations and individuals around the world by transforming knowledge into insights that help make more informed business and personal decisions. The company organizes, assimilates and analyzes data on more than 820 million consumers and more than 91 million businesses worldwide, and its database includes employee data contributed from more than 7,100 employers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs approximately 9,900 employees worldwide.

Some noteworthy achievements for the company include: Named to the Top 100 American Banker FinTech Forward list (2015-2016); named a Top Technology Provider on the FinTech 100 list (2004-2016); named an InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner (2014-2015); named a Top Workplace by Atlanta Journal Constitution (2013-2017); named one of Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies (2011-2015); named one of Forbes' World's 100 Most Innovative Companies (2015-2017). For more information, visit www.equifax.com.



SELECT Public Relations
Andrew Findlater
(416) 659-1197
afindlater@selectpr.ca

Equifax Canada
Tom Carroll
Media Relations
(416) 227-5290
MediaRelationsCanada@equifax.com