When I wrote my report last week, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine had not yet begun.
One week later and we are now bearing witness to the atrocities of war, due to the actions of the Russian president.
Over the past seven days we have also witnessed the incredible bravery of a proud Ukrainian nation determined to fight for their homeland (and it) has inspired the free world to come together in response to this brutal invasion.
With sanctions growing by the day and more nations joining in to stand with Ukraine, the financial impacts are now beginning to show an impact in Russia.
In Ottawa there has been widespread support among all the parties behind the government to take increased action against the Putin regime.
From my own perspective, I believe the prime minister and the deputy prime minister have done an effective job given that one country, such as Canada, can only do so much to impact a country like Russia, a country we have limited trade with.
I will continue to support the government in taking action against Russia and standing with the Ukraine as it fights off this Putin-provoked military invasion.
Also, while I am writing this week's report, the Bank of Canada has announced its key interest rate is increased to 0.5%.
This is potentially the first interest rate increase of more to follow.
To some, this will be of little concern, however I am already hearing from others who are very concerned.
Why? In November 2021, the consumer credit rating agency Equifax reported that increasing credit activity in tandem with mortgage growth had pushed the overall consumer debt up to $2.2 trillion, an increase of 7.8 % in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2020.
It also reported that average consumer debt (excluding mortgages) was $20,739.
For consumers who have variable rate mortgages, a line of credit or credit card debt, increased interest payments mean there is less money remaining in the household budget after making monthly or bi-weekly payments.
Worse, this comes at a time when many household budgets are already stretched coping with increased costs on groceries, gasoline, utilities, taxes, insurance other inflationary pressures.
As others have noticed, net take-home pay also decreased in January on account of larger payroll deductions from increased CPP deductions.
My question this week:
Is the increase in interest rates a concern to your household budget?
I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.