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Was the Improvement in Quebecers’ Financial Situation during the Pandemic Widespread?

December 2, 2021
Hélène Bégin, Senior Economist, and Lorenzo Tessier-Moreau, Senior Economist

The pandemic enabled Canadians to improve their financial situation in 2020, as demonstrated in a recent Economic Viewpoint. Detailed data for Quebec provide a better understanding of how these changes have taken place and how they have affected various groups of the population. Regardless of their employment situation, Quebecers had higher incomes in 2020. Lower spending made it possible for many, including those less well off, to save more cash than in the past. This additional money was used to invest and buy real estate, but also to pay down debt. Even though this influx of new homeowners caused average mortgage debt to rise, net worth grew owing to the rise of property prices and to the growth of financial assets. However, homeowners are not the only ones who have seen their assets grow; gains are well distributed, whether it be for tenants, for Quebecers of different income level, different age groups and from different regions