We may be saving money because of COVID but we’re also borrowing more.
One outcome of the public health restrictions that came with the pandemic was cash accumulation. Since we didn’t have as many places or opportunities to spend money – particularly on things like entertainment – we were savers.
We also were devotees to household improvement. For some that meant buying a new home, for others it was renovation. And it seems we financed a big portion of that spending.
New figures on household debt show Canadians added $16 billion in mortgages in the month of May. That is a one-percent increase in overall mortgage debt nationally in a month, bringing the total increase of more than 8-percent for the year that ended in May. That’s nearly twice as much mortgage debt in the first five months of this year compared to the same period a year ago.
But that nothing compared to the non-mortgage debt we piled up. That number rose by more than $700 billion in the month with increased charges on credit cards as restaurants started to open up across the country.