Canadians saw their national wealth drop in the last quarter of 2018. The ‘national wealth’ of a single Canadian fell from $304,085 to $296,933. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Canadians are getting poorer and are borrowing money

National wealth dropped by more than two per cent to $11.1 trillion, while personal debt rose

Dropping real estate values and natural resource prices have made Canadians poorer.

According to Statistics Canada, the ‘national wealth’ of a single Canadian fell from $304,085 to $296,933 during the last three months of 2018.

This recorded drop reflects a decline of Canada’s national wealth by 2.2 per cent to $11.1 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter.

RELATED: 46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

“This was primarily due to a 23.5 [per cent] decrease in the value of natural resources,” the agency said in a report. Weaker crude oil prices in the fourth quarter accounted for the drop. “A decline in the value of residential real estate [down $72.5 billion] also contributed to the fourth quarter decrease, as housing prices continued to edge down.”

Canadians are also borrowing more money relative to their incomes.

The household debt service ratio, which measures payments on the principal and interest of credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income, rose 14.9 per cent in the fourth quarter, as growth in total debt payments outpaced the growth in disposable income.

RELATED: 731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Overall, the average Canadian owes $1.79 in credit market debt for every dollar that they earn towards their disposable household income.

A 2017 OCED study found that Canadians borrow far more than the rest of the world. It found Canadian household debt exceeded the total value of Canada’s per-capita Gross Domestic Product by one per cent. In other words, the Canadian economy does not produce enough wealth to cover the private household debts of Canadians, leaving one per cent unpaid if all GDP were to go towards that single item.

According to the OCED, higher-than-usual real estate prices accounted for the global debt leadership of Canadians. Worse, Canadians will find it more difficult to recover the value of their debt-fueled investment against the backdrop of declining real estate prices.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Take an Old Bag to Tea Okanagan hospital trauma room fundraiser

A special fundraising event is June 9 to help equip the trauma room of the new David E. Kampe Tower

Minnesota standout latest signing for Okanagan BCHL squad

Liam Malmquist of Minnesota coming to Vees for 2019/2020 season

Early-morning fire destroys Okanagan packing house

Cause of fire that destroyed an Oliver packing house remains under investigation.

Trail played role during fur trade era

Fur Brigade Trail in Okanagan has long history

Brothers acquired land at entrance to Garnet Valley

Name of Summerland valley and lake does not match spelling of family name.

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

KFD, COSAR rescue injured Okanagan hiker

Rescue happened after 1 p.m. on Lost Lake Trail in Kelowna after woman injured her leg

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Neighbours help save Okanagan garage fire from spreading

Neighbours knock down fire enough before BX-Swan Lake firefighters arrive to fully extinguish

UBC researchers want to hear from rural residents on health care

Once completed, the project will inform health care planning and policy decisions

Kamloops RCMP investigate violent home invasion

Police believe the incident was targeted

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Most Read