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Manitobans reduce household debt

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Manitoba/Saskatchewan residents have reduced their average household debt by more than $13,000 in the past year, according to a new Bank of Montreal survey.

The bank said the average household debt in the Prairie region dropped to $68,437 this year from $82,100 in 2013.

But despite the improvement, it was still the third highest level of household debt among the six regions covered in the survey. Alberta had the highest average at $124,838, while Quebec had the lowest at $59,805.

In terms of the type of debt, more than four in 10 (45 per cent) of Manitoba/Saskatchewan households are carrying credit card debt, less than four in 10 (38 per cent) are carrying mortgage debt, and only three per cent are carrying student loans, the survey found.

The percentages for credit card debt and student loans were the lowest of any region, while the percentage for mortgage debt was the second lowest.

Nationally, the average household debt has risen to $76,140 from $72,045 in 2013.

The survey found that more than half (52 per cent) of Canadian households have a credit card balance, more than four in 10 (43 per cent) have mortgage debt, and 15 per cent are carrying student loans.

The results of the BMO Household Debt 2014 survey are based on an online survey of 1,002 Canadians conducted between June 30 and July 3. The margin of error for a probability sample of that size is plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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