Spending more than ever

More people are spending more money in Canada this year, but it appears growth in the country will continue its gradually slowing trend in 2017.

According to the MonerisMetrics' quarterly report, spending in Canada was up by 3.46 per cent in the first quarter of this year, compared to 2016.

That jump, however, is smaller than the one from 2015 to 2016, which was itself smaller than the year before.

“Spending rates are continuing to climb, but at a more modest level than in previous quarters,” CEO Angela Brown said. “Given global transitions in government that could impact the economy at home, it’s no surprise that Canadians are keeping an eye on how they’re spending.”  

The report contains a nugget of good news for B.C., however, as the province posted stronger-than-average growth over the first quarter, compared to most provinces.

At 4.26 per cent growth, B.C.’s numbers were only behind those of Quebec and New Brunswick (at 5.49 per cent and 4.59 per cent respectively).

Although it’s not rising as fast, spending is still up in Canada this quarter, and Moneris sees a couple of trends driving the growth.

The majority of transactions (64.8 per cent) over the period of the report were made with a credit card, and a significant chunk (35.2 per cent) were made on debit cards.

Spending on credit cards increased by 4.85 per cent over the first quarter of 2016, while spending on debit increased by a slightly smaller volume, at 0.98 per cent.

Canada’s low dollar also drove lots more foreign spenders to drop dollars in the country. 

The amount spent on foreign cards in Canada grew by 6.06 per cent over the same period last year, as Canada remains a desirable destination for cross-border shopping and tourism. 

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