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Rising interest rates a big worry to Canadians: survey

The Bank of Canada is shown on Oct. 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Teetering on the financial brink, many Canadians are feeling the effects of rising interest rates, according to a new study conducted by insolvency firm MNP.

The proportion of Canadians who are $200 or less away from financial insolvency at month-end has jumped a significant six points since September — from 40 per cent to 46 per cent on the MNP debt index.

Thirty-one per cent say they don’t make enough to cover their monthly bills and debts — up seven per cent — and that’s just under normal day-to-day circumstances.

The big problem comes with the unexpected.

Less than four in 10 say they are confident in their ability to cope financially if a major expense suddenly occurred.

MNP says this all follows the accumulation of debt during the years of low interest rates. The Bank of Canada has since hiked rates five times in the past year and a half.

The survey found people in Saskatchwan and Manitoba are closest to the edge, where 56 per cent say they’re within $200 of insolvency.

Ontario is at the national average — 46 per cent — and British Columbia is running at 41 per cent, which is up sharply from the previous survey.

The data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between December 7 and December 12. For this survey, a sample of 2,154 was interviewed online. The poll is accurate to within plus or minus 2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled.