Consumer insolvencies surged again in January, according to new data from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB).
The OSB reported that combined insolvencies — including both bankruptcies and consumer proposals — rose in January by 8.7% compared to the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, total insolvencies were up by 10.4%.
That rise was driven by a 15.5% jump in consumer proposals during the month, whereas bankruptcies actually declined by 1.7%.
Compared with January 2019, consumer insolvencies rose by 10.6% this year, and business insolvencies were up by 5.5%.
The OSB also reported that the total number of insolvencies increased by 9.6% in the 12-month period ending Jan. 31, compared with the prior 12-month period.
Consumer insolvencies rose by 9.8% in the period, and business insolvencies were up by 2.5%.
A sharp rise in consumer proposals led the increase in consumer insolvencies. The number of consumer proposals increased by 18.7%, whereas consumer bankruptcies were down by 1.7%.