By Victoria Brown
Canadians will be doing a little more then window shopping this holiday season as a BMO survey predicts spending will be up 15 per cent from last year.
The survey conducted by Pollara for BMO reports that gifts, holiday trips and entertaining spending will increase.
“There’s optimism on the market right now.” Jim Inglis, BMO personal banking area manager told Humber news.
However, despite the optimism surrounding Canadians the debt to income ratio has hit 163.4 per in the last quarter up from 161.8 per cent in the prevoius according to the CBC.
Steve Bang, professor of business at Humber College, told Humber News debt is definitely increasing, but because of Canadians are able to consolidate their debt they’re turning large payments into one reasonable payment.
“Now they have more money on their hands,” said Bang.
Another reason why Canadians are spending more is because of a growing job market, said Bang.
“I think that’s what drives the notion that there’s more money around to spend and buy,” said Bang. “More Canadians are going to actually spend money this Christmas on presents and such.”
Though Bang thinks this holiday season will create holiday debt, he said people are now more comfortable charging to credit because of they are working.
“They say okay, I’ll got out and use my MasterCard and Visa and I’ll buy stuff at the store, and pay it off in January and February because they have that regular income.”
But Canadians don’t have to go into debt, a budget can help Canadians stay within their means said Inglis.
The best way to stay out of debt this season said Inglis is to have a plan ahead of time and stick with it, research what you want to buy and start shopping early.
A comparison of the predicted holiday spending from 2011 to this year. With increases seen in gifts and trips this season. Based on information taken from the Pollara survey.
GRAPHIC BY VICTORIA BROWN