Canadian consumer debt edged down for the first time in a decade

(Reuters) – Canada’s quarterly consumer debt fell for the first time in more than a decade, as closures caused by coronaviruses slashed credit card spending in March, the credit monitoring company said on Tuesday Equifax in a report.

Average consumer debt per Canadian fell 0.5% to C $ 23,386 ($ 17,233.60) in the first quarter.

“With the closure of stores and restaurants, consumers were able to cut spending in March,” Bill Johnston, vice president of data and analytics for Equifax Canada, said in the report.

People between the ages of 18 and 25 saw the biggest drop in consumer debt at over 1%. Their average consumer debt was also the lowest at C $ 8,588.

The report showed that people aged 46 to 55 accumulated the most consumer debt at CA $ 35,818 per person on average. They were one of only two groups to see their debt increase in the quarter, the other being those aged 56 to 65.

Consumer insolvencies, which had grown at the fastest pace since the pre-pandemic global financial crisis, plunged here in April, helped by government support programs and mortgage deferrals.

Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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