High Debt Levels Hurtful To Economy

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    Seventy-five per cent of executive chartered accountants surveyed believe the high level of personal debt among Canadians is hurting the economy, says the ‘CICA Business Monitor.’ Fifty-five per cent of respondents also view high debt levels as a threat to future demand for products or services at their company. “Clearly, business leaders are uncomfortable with the high level of personal debt in the country,” says Nicholas Cheung, a director with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). “The executive CAs understand that, at some point, interest rates will rise. When that happens, many Canadians could be challenged to keep up with mortgage or debt payments and this would greatly impact their ability to purchase goods or services.”  No consensus is emerging as to whether Canadians are following the advice of Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and the federal government to reduce personal debt levels. Thirty-eight per cent of respondents agree it is happening, 31 per cent disagree, 25 per cent are neutral, and five per cent do not know.