Canadians resolve to better manage their finances in 2013: RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook

Canadians resolve to better manage their finances in 2013: RBC Canadian 
Consumer Outlook 

    --  Resolutions for New Year include spending less,
        saving/investing more
    --  National overall index rises 12 basis points from 2011

TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Heading into 2013, more (37 per cent) Canadian 
consumers feel their personal financial situation will improve than they did 
at this same time last year (32 per cent) and they are taking steps to be in 
better financial shape, according to the quarterly RBC Canadian Consumer 
Outlook (RBC CCO).

Looking ahead, one-in-three Canadians (31 per cent) are planning to focus on 
reducing their debt, 26 per cent on spending less, 25 per cent on saving or 
investing more, and another 20 per cent intend to take all of these actions in 
2013. Canadians are also sending out a strong signal that less money will be 
going toward major purchases in 2013, with 44 per cent reporting they will 
spend less on big ticket items such as cars, household appliances or 
vacations. This is consistent with findings released earlier this month that 
Canadians intend to be more frugal this holiday season and that managing their 
debt is a key priority.

"Canadians may believe brighter days are ahead because they are making 
resolutions to better manage their finances by reducing debt and curbing 
spending not because of their outlook on the Canadian economy," said Richard 
Goyder, vice-president of personal lending, RBC. "WhileNew Year's 
resolutions may start with great intentions and fizzle out later in the year, 
setting out a plan to reduce your debt, keep it under control and save more 
for that rainy day will help keep you on track."

The most recent Economic and Fiscal Update issued by the federal government in 
November estimated that Canada's real GDP will grow by 2.0 per cent in 2013. 
RBC Economics is currently forecasting the Canadian economy will grow by 2.4 
per cent in 2013 and will be releasing its next Economic and Financial Outlook 
in December.

"The Canadian economy has been growing at a rate close to its long-run 
potential," noted Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, 
RBC. "However, we will have a sharper picture of Canada's future growth 
prospects when the U.S. addresses the fiscal cliff and European policymakers 
can move the Eurozone out of recession and address fiscal and financial market 

The RBC CCO is Canada's most comprehensive consumer assessment of the economy, 
personal financial situation and economic and purchasing expectations. 
Benchmarked at a baseline of 100 in November 2009, the national overall RBC 
CCO Index rose to 82 in October 2012, up 12 basis points from this time last 
year and two points higher than the previous quarter. Highlights from the RBC 
CCO, Top 10 Financial Tune-up Tips for 2013 and Online Money Management 
Resources follow below.


|Reduce debt           | 31% |26%|28%| 29% |32%|33%|37%|
|Spend less            | 26% |29%|21%| 23% |23%|34%|26%|
|Save or invest more   | 20% |22%|25%| 22% |22%|17%|15%|
|Take all actions above| 25% |22%|29%| 25% |28%|20%|24%|

|IMPROVE*                               |    |    |
|National                               |37% |32% |
|British Columbia                       |31% |27% |
|Alberta                                |43% |39% |
|Saskatchewan/Manitoba                  |37% |36% |
|Ontario                                |39% |31% |
|Quebec                                 |33% |32% |
|Atlantic Canada                        |35% |31% |

|National                           |29% |26% |
|British Columbia                   |35% |27% |
|Alberta                            |42% |37% |
|Saskatchewan/Manitoba              |34% |30% |
|Ontario                            |30% |27% |
|Quebec                             |18% |18% |
|Atlantic Canada                    |28% |25% |

|National                         |22% |22% |
|British Columbia                 |17% |23% |
|Alberta                          |15% |19% |
|Saskatchewan/Manitoba            |14% |17% |
|Ontario                          |30% |26% |
|Quebec                           |16% |20% |
|Atlantic Canada                  |22% |18% |

|EXPECT LOCAL ECONOMY (City/town/village) TO |2012|2011|
|IMPROVE**                                   |    |    |
|National                                    |16% |12% |
|British Columbia                            |26% |10% |
|Alberta                                     |22% |22% |
|Saskatchewan/Manitoba                       |17% |20% |
|Ontario                                     |13% |10% |
|Quebec                                      |16% | 9% |
|Atlantic Canada                             |13% |11% |

*In the next year **In the next quarter


  1. Reduce your debt: If you are among the 31 per cent of Canadians
     who plan to focus on reducing debt next year, you can start off by
     paying down debts which have the highest interest charges first.

  2. Consolidate your debt: To make all your debts easier to manage and
     pay down, talk to a financial advisor about consolidating your
     debts. Combining multiple payments into one loan can help make it
     easier to manage your debt and you may even reduce your interest
     costs and be able to pay down your debt sooner.

  3. Budget for the year ahead: Having your own budget allows you to
     manage your expenses, pay down debts and save for future goals. If
     you don't have a budget, set one up for the new year; if you
     already have one, the beginning of a new year is a good time to do
     a budget review. You can get in-person budgeting advice any time
     of the year from a financial planner at your local bank branch;
     there are also online resources to help you get started (see
     "Online Money Management Resources" further below).

  4. Make your credit card work for you: Credit cards can help you keep
     track of your expenses and also earn valuable rewards more
     quickly, but whenever you use your credit cards, do so wisely -
     pay off your full balance before the due date each month.

  5. Have an emergency fund: Unexpected expenses can catch you
     off-guard throughout the year. An emergency fund can help you take
     care of unplanned costs without straining your budget.

  6. Compare loans to lines of credit: If you are planning a major
     expense in the new year (buying a car, renovating your home,
     investing in your RRSP), explore whether a loan or a line of
     credit will work best to help you manage that expense (see "Online
     Money Management Resources" further below).

  7. About to buy a home? Get pre-approved for a mortgage: To get a
     better idea of your price range before you buy your first home,
     apply for a pre-approved for a mortgage, with professional advice
     that will help you understand the long term costs and choose the
     right mortgage option to suit your needs.

  8. Review your investments: The start of any new year is a good time
     to review the mix of assets in your investment portfolio and to
     recheck your risk profile, to see if you need to make any

  9. Use all your income tax deductions: Remember to pay all tuition
     fees, investment management fees, accounting and legal fees if
     deductible, safe deposit box fees, childcare expenses, alimony,
     medical expenses and any business expenses by December 31 of the
     year, if you want to deduct them on that year's tax return.

 10. Individual Pension Plan option for business owners: If you are a
     business owner with an incorporated company, you may find both
     year-end corporate income tax deductions and a structured
     retirement savings plan for yourself through an Individual Pension
     Plan (IPP).

    --  Infographic: The State of Consumer Debt in Canada

--  Comprehensive financial advice
--  Budgeting
--  Savings
--  Debt management
--  Investing
--  Financial planning
--  Emergency fund planning
--  Credit cards/Rewards
--  Loans/Lines of credit
--  Homebuying
--  Taxes
About RBC financial advice and interactive tools
Canadians can access RBC Financial Planning and for free 
planning, budgeting and savings advice and resources, or to find the nearest 
Investment and Retirement Planner. In addition, Canadians who want to get more 
from their day-to-day banking, protect what's important, save and invest, 
borrow with confidence or take care of their businesses, the RBC Advice Centre 
can help answer their questions. Interactive tools and calculators such as the 
Debt Reduction Plan and Debt Consolidation Calculator, provide customized 
information covering many facets of personal finance. All personal RBC online 
banking clients also can use myFinanceTracker, a no-cost interactive financial 
management tool, to create a set budget, track their spending habits and 
access tax-related apps in myTax Centre, to help manage and plan their taxes. 
About the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index (RBC CCO)
Benchmarked as of November 2009 to a baseline of 100, the RBC CCO is conducted 
online via Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer Panel to 3,375 Canadians (540 
British Columbia, 540 Alberta, 469 Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 735 Ontario, 609 
Quebec, 482 Atlantic Canada). Weighting is then employed to balance 
demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the 
adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to 
approximate the sample universe. Data collection was October 1 to 10, 2012. 
The precision of Ipsos Reid polls are calculated using a credibility interval. 
In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±1.9 percentage points of the 
entire Canadian population. 
Suzanne Willers, RBC Corporate Communications, 416-974-2727 Kathy Bevan, RBC 
Corporate Communications, 416-974-8820 
Image with caption: "RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook - Expectations for Personal 
Financial Situation in 2013 (CNW Group/RBC)". Image available at: 
Image with caption: "2nd Annual RBC Debt Poll - The State of Consumer Debt in 
Canada (CNW Group/RBC)". Image available at: 
To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
CO: RBC Royal Bank
ST: Ontario
-0- Nov/27/2012 10:00 GMT
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