“When we talk more specifically about Alberta, one of the biggest problems we have is that already through the pandemic, the average household debt was the highest in Canada,” says Alberta Central’s Chief Economist Charles St-Arnaud in a recent Financial Post article.

Albertans owed 207.6% more than their income, versus the 181.6% owed by households nationally heading into the pandemic. However, Albertans have also had the highest savings rate of any province in recent years, personal insolvencies have fallen and disposable incomes have risen during the pandemic. This unusual circumstance is likely a result of CERB and other government support programs over the spring and summer.

“It’s the first time in Canada’s history where you have a recession and job losses, and employment income declining sharply, where you actually have disposable income rising sharply,” says St-Arnaud.

Read the full article here.

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