Confidence in the economy, however, is rising on Canada's west coast. B.C.'s overall economic outlook index has moved up nine points to reach 98, its highest level this year. Coupled with this rosy outlook, nearly half (49 per cent) of B.C. residents believe they are managing their debt well, the highest ranking in the country and well above the national average of 38 per cent.
"B.C. residents are confident in the job market and believe the economy will continue to improve," said Graham MacLachlan, regional president, British Columbia, RBC. "However, rising day-to-day costs of gas and food are starting to have an impact, so it's good to see British Columbians making debt management a top priority. We continue to stress the importance of meeting with a financial advisor, who can help you refine your budget and financial plan, to ensure there is always room to adjust for everyday financial pressures."
· Economic Outlook: More than six-in-ten (63 per cent) of B.C.'s residents rate the current Canadian economy as good, two points higher than the national average; nearly half (46 per cent) believe the economy will continue to improve over the next year, compared to 42 per cent nationally. Job anxiety has dipped to 17 per cent, just one point higher than Saskatchewan and Manitoba who have the lowest job anxiety in the country at 16 per cent.
· Interest rates: The vast majority (80 per cent) of B.C. residents believe that interest rates will rise this year, compared to the national average of 74 per cent. To combat this expected interest rate increase, 31 per cent of British Columbians plan to find ways to reduce their interest costs or monthly payments, 28 per cent plan to increase their savings and/or investments and 43 per cent intend to spend less in other areas.
· Personal Financial Situation Outlook: While more British Columbians feel that, over the last quarter, their personal situation has worsened (32 per cent) rather than improved (23 per cent), more than a third (36 per cent) expect it to improve over the next year.