Equifax Canada
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Equifax Canada

December 03, 2014 05:00 ET

Equifax Canada Reports Consumer Debt Grows to Over $1.5 Trillion

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 3, 2014) - Heading into the holidays, Canadian consumers have yet again tipped the scales setting a new benchmark of over $1.513 trillion in debt, according to Equifax Canada's Q3 2014 National Consumer Credit Trends Report.

Comparatively, consumer debt was $1.448 trillion in Q2 2014 and $1.409 trillion a year earlier: an increase of 4.5 per cent and 7.4 per cent. Auto loan and installment loan sectors showed the most significant increases, at 6.8 per cent and 5.8 per cent year-over-year, respectively.

The average debt held by Canadians, excluding mortgages, has increased by 2.7 per cent to $20,891.

"Following a frenzied start to the festive shopping season with more to come in the countdown to Christmas, we can expect the consumer debt to rise even further," explained Regina Malina, senior director of decision insights at Equifax Canada. "'Tis the season, so we can anticipate credit cards getting a strong workout throughout December."

Despite the increasing debt numbers, the national 90+ day delinquency rate continued its downward trend reaching its lowest level since 2008 - down to 1.10 per cent. While Toronto has the highest delinquency rate, it has been on the fastest downward trend since 2009.

"While the debt numbers are worrisome, it's certainly positive to see delinquency and bankruptcy rates inch down each quarter," advised Malina. "The fact is, while debt figures have gone up, they have increased at a slower rate in the third quarter with most Canadians seemingly still spending within their means."

When compared to the same quarter last year, consumer demand for new credit continues to increase, driven mainly by national credit card and auto credit inquiries. The demand for credit in the West has increased for six consecutive quarters, while activity in the eastern provinces continues to slow down.

REGIONAL DEMAND FOR NEW CREDIT

% Changes - Year- over-Year
2012 vs 2011 2013 vs 2012 2014 vs 2013
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3
Ontario -1.1 % -3.0 % -1.8 % -2.5 % -4.5 % 2.2 % 2.6 % -1.3 % 1.1 % -0.4 % 1.1 %
Quebec 7.5 % 6.7 % 6.0 % 2.7 % -5.8 % 0.6 % -0.8 % -0.8 % 1.9 % -0.5 % 1.0 %
West 2.7 % 0.2 % -2.2 % -3.7 % -4.8 % 5.3 % 7.3 % 4.4 % 6.5 % 3.5 % 3.9 %
East 2.0 % 0.2 % -4.4 % -1.7 % -6.8 % 2.1 % 1.3 % -3.4 % -2.8 % -3.1 % -0.8 %
Canada 2.6 % 0.8 % -0.1 % -1.5 % -5.2 % 2.6 % 5.0 % 0.4 % 2.7 % 0.6 % 1.7 %

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Data for this report, including scores, are sourced from the Equifax Canada data warehouse, which stores the majority of credit transactions that occur in Canada. There are over 25 million unique consumer 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 leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions that provide businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information they can trust. Equifax organizes and assimilates data on more than 600 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide. The company's significant investments in differentiated data, its expertise in advanced analytics to explore and develop new multi-source data solutions, and its leading-edge proprietary technology enable it to create and deliver unparalleled customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 19 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. In 2013, Equifax was named a Bloomberg BusinessWeek Top 50 company, was #3 in Fortune's Most Admired list in its category, and was named to InfoWeek 500 as well as the FinTech 100. For more information, please visit www.equifax.ca.

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