Consumer insolvencies nationwide will continue their upward trend over the next two years, largely as a result of heavier household debt loads, according to the latest analysis by the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals.
The organization noted that the proportion of Canadians who filed for insolvency in January was 7.1% larger than in January 2018, and 11.6% greater on a month-over-month basis.
“The rise in consumer insolvency filings is a direct result of the interest rate increases since 2017. Those living pay cheque to pay cheque are struggling to meet their debt repayment obligations,” CAIRP chair Chantal Gingras said.
“Many Canadians may be technically insolvent in terms of being unable to pay their bills, but they haven’t sought debt relief yet. That said, the number of consumer insolvencies are likely to continue to increase over the next two years as more individuals seek help.”
CAIRP warned that the commercial segment will suffer some knock-on effects from this development.
“Businesses will also feel the effects of a slowdown in consumer spending as Canadians react to the softening housing market and adjust their household budgets to account for larger interest payments in order to service debt,” CAIRP board member David Lewis stated.
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The fraction of Canadian businesses that filed for insolvency in January rose by 10.1% annually in January, and 2.1% month-over-month. Construction, real estate, and rental and leasing were among the hardest hit sectors.
“After 17 consecutive years of steady decline, business insolvencies in Canada have reached a plateau and will likely rise in 2019,” Lewis noted.
“Weaker exports, slowing job growth, tightening lending conditions, rising interest rates and consumer debt are all contributing factors.”