Poll finds half of Canadians with debt have made progress in past year

TORONTO – A new Harris/Decima poll conducted for CIBC says half of the respondents had been able to reduce their debt level over the past 12 months.

It found 71 per cent of the people surveyed nationally were carrying some form of debt — in line with a similar study last year.

About one-fifth of the respondents (21 per cent) said their debt level had increased over the past year and 28 per cent said their situation hadn’t changed.

The report was based on 1,000 responses to telephone surveys conducted in March and April.

The poll was done at a time of record high levels of Canadian household debt.

The Bank of Canada said last week that it expects the ratio of debt to household disposable income will stabilize near current levels.

The federal finance minister and the Bank of Canada have been warning for more than a year that the current extremely low interest rates can’t continue forever, and they’ve advised consumers against taking on too much debt.