Three-quarters of executive chartered accountants believe the high level of personal debt among among Canadians is hurting the economy, according to a survey conducted by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
More than half of those surveyed, 55%, also view the high debt levels as a threat to future demand for products or services at their company.
?Clearly, business leaders are uncomfortable with the high level of personal debt in the country,? said Nicholas Cheung, a director with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).
He said there is an understanding that interest rates will rise at some point, which will make it challenging for many Canadians to keep up with mortgages and other debt payments. Such circumstances ?would greatly impact their ability to purchase goods or services,? Mr. Cheung said.
The CICA survey did not find a consensus among executive chartered accountants about?whether Canadians are following the advice of Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and the federal government to reduce personal debt levels.
While 38% agree that Canadians are reining it their debt appetite, 31% disagreed.
Earlier research conducted for the CICA, focusing on personal finances, found that debt reduction is an area where Canadians want to take action in 2013. Half of those surveyed call reducing personal debt a high priority while another 15% view it as a moderate priority.