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BMO Financial Group

June 29, 2011 09:00 ET

REPEAT-Owe Canada: $60,000 in Household and Federal Debt for Every Canadian

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 29, 2011) - The combination of household debt and the federal debt adds up to nearly $60,000 for every Canadian, according to BMO Economics.

"Household debt growth has been slowing since the start of the year but, at $44,288 per Canadian, is the highest in at least four decades," according to Jennifer Lee, Vice President and Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Meanwhile, Canada's federal debt of $519 billion currently works out to $15,240 per Canadian. That said, the federal debt is expected to decline over the next five years."

Lynne Kilpatrick, Senior Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal, says these figures demonstrate the need for Canadians to carefully examine their daily spending habits.

"It can seem like a daunting task to pull back the curtain and examine every dollar being spent, but to successfully manage household finances, a number of factors need to be addressed on a regular basis," says Ms. Kilpatrick. "However, developing and following a straight-forward, realistic budget that includes both monthly expenses and leisure spending can help to simplify your financial picture, keep things on track and identify areas where spending can be scaled back if necessary."

Ms. Kilpatrick notes that web-based personal finance tools, such as BMO MoneyLogic, are becoming increasingly popular, and can provide immediate insights into spending and savings habits.

Ms. Kilpatrick adds that since the launch of BMO MoneyLogic, an online, intuitive personal financial management tool, more than 240,000 customers have set savings goals since the beginning of the year, which is an encouraging sign.

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