Report: Canadian debt increases in Q4 2011

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A recent report from TransUnion shows the total debt in Canada increased to close out 2011, with holiday shopping likely responsible for the rise in credit spending.

The fourth quarter of 2011 in Canada saw total debt, excluding mortgage, rise to $25,960. The nation is still experiencing decelerating annual growth below 1 percent for the first time since TransUnion started analyzing credit trends eight years ago.

"The fourth quarter increase in average consumer debt is in line with seasonal patterns as consumer debt levels generally rise during the holiday shopping season," said Thomas Higgins, TransUnion's vice president of analytics and decision services. "The continued deceleration in the annual growth of total debt is the bigger story."

Higgins added TransUnion has witnessed a stabilization of total debt for the last three quarters with the first half of 2012 expected to reveal more on the nation's debt standing. Mortgage debt is also a factor in Canadian debt with the housing bubble, pushed by the continuing construction of the third largest condo tower in Toronto, continuing to strain Canadian mortgage rates.

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