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TransUnion: Canadian debt loads eased in the third quarter

Dec 06, 2011 Mike Garretson

Debt loads among Canadian consumers are beginning to stabilize, likely reflecting recovery from the global economic recession that left many citizens throughout North America in heavy debt and unemployed. According to TransUnion's quarterly analysis of credit trends, average consumer debt fell to $25,594 in the third quarter. The reading marked the third straight quarter in which the variable either declined or remained stable. "Global economic uncertainty surely played a part in Canadians' move to further draw down their debt load," said Thomas Higgins, vice president of analytics and decision services at TransUnion. "In the third quarter alone, Canadian consumers witnessed major stock market declines, the European debt crisis and continued high unemployment." The figures match conditions in the U.S., where the New York Federal Reserve recently reported a 0.6 percent dip in household debt during the third quarter. Consumers on both sides of the border have been reining in debt, especially credit card dues, in light of stagnant wage growth and high unemployment. While joblessness is expected to remain a problem, U.S. and Canadian consumers appear to be strapping their budgets in anticipation.