Canadians were more asset resilient just prior to the pandemic than they were at the turn of the millennium. That resilience continues to be tested as we enter the second year of the pandemic.
For the purposes of this article, a household is asset resilient when it has liquid assets that are at least equal to the after-tax, low-income measure (LIM-AT) for three months.
To be deemed asset resilient in 2019, a person living alone would require liquid assets of approximately $6,000. A household of four would require $12,000 or $3,000 per person to meet the minimum LIM-AT threshold for three months.
Recent Statistics Canada data have shown that savings rose sharply during the pandemic, despite the economic upheaval, and that those in the lower income quintiles have seen their income rise as a result of government support programs, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
Although the data in this release predate the pandemic, they provide an important benchmark to monitor the economic well-being of Canadian households during a time of unprecedented change.