A report by insolvency firm MNP Ltd. says 52 per cent of Canadians say they are $200 away or less from not being able to pay all of their bills at the end of the month as higher interest rates and a rising cost of living have stretched budgets.
The result for the July report is up six percentage points from 46 per cent in April.
MNP president Grant Bazian says the escalating burden of household bills and food prices has intensified Canadians’ financial anxiety and is further compounded by increased debt-servicing costs, particularly for those who are deeply indebted.
MNP’s consumer debt index fell to 83 points in its latest reading compared with 89 points in April as Canadians expressed a more negative attitude toward their personal finances and debt.
The report says 35 per cent of those asked say they already don’t make enough to cover their bills and debt payments, up from 30 per cent in April and a record high for the survey. It also says a record 48 per cent of those surveyed are concerned about their current level of debt.
Household debt has been identified as a key risk for the economy by the Bank of Canada which is scheduled to make its next interest rate decision on Wednesday.