Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 08:42

MNI DATA IMPACT: Canada Consumer Debt Ratio Near Record High

By Greg Quinn

OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian household debt held close to a record high when compared with disposable income in the first quarter, government figures showed.

Credit-market debt such as mortgages was 177.6% of after-tax income, unchanged from the fourth quarter of last year. The ratio was a record 178.3% in the third quarter of 2018, according to Statistics Canada figures published Thursday.

The Bank of Canada has warned that a record buildup of consumer debts through a housing boom in Toronto and Vancouver remains a vulnerability even after governments introduced rules to curb riskier borrowing. Governor Stephen Poloz has held interest rates steady this year on risks to global trade, while also saying he's aware consumers are more sensitive than in the past to higher borrowing costs.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; tel: +1 613-314-9647; email:


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