Instead of investing, Canadians are paying down debt for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.
The Household Balance Sheet Report by Investor Economics says the shift follows a period in which debt-to-income ratios have been on the rise.
Currently, those levels are more than 20% higher than in late 2007.
In cities such as Toronto, debt-to-income ratios exceeded 200% in 2016, meaning a household with $50,000 in after-tax income had more than twice that in debt.
”This has translated into a sharper focus by Canadian households in diverting discretionary financial assets toward lowering personal debt,” according to the report, which points out the change in attitude could see a decline in the amount of money going into investment products, specifically toward retirement savings.