BUSINESS

Canadian Consumer Debt Nears $1.6 Trillion, But There's One Province Where It's Shrinking

09/15/2015 01:26 EDT | Updated 09/15/2016 05:12 EDT
TORONTO — Canadians are still adding to household debt, but at a slower pace than earlier in the year, according to a new study from Equifax.

The credit rating agency says debt for those with a credit file, which includes most adults, rose two per cent in the second quarter of 2015 after rising 2.7 per cent in the first quarter.

Total consumer debt now amounts to $1.568 trillion, with the average debt load, excluding mortgage debt, totalling $21,164.

Albertans top the list, with an average of $27,313 in consumer debt for every person with a credit file.

Yet Equifax says the average debt load in the oil-rich province dropped by 0.1 per cent from the second quarter of 2014.

Among other things, Equifax says Canadians are adding to debt to buy new cars, with auto loans increasing by 3.9 per cent from the same period last year.

There was one province where consumer debt shrank in the second quarter of this year — recently struggling Alberta. Here is the average consumer debt per person for each province, and the change in percentage from last year.

Consumer Debt Per Person (2014)