Canadians' vulnerability to debt set to climb: budget office

OTTAWA -- The federal budget watchdog says in the coming years increasingly indebted households are poised to become the most financially vulnerable Canadians in decades.

See Full Article

The parliamentary budget office says indebtedness continues to edge higher in Canada -- which has seen the largest increase in household debt relative to income of any G7 country since 2000.

The office released a report predicting the ratio of debt payments -- including principal and interest payments -- relative to disposable income will creep upwards over the next five years as interest rates rise.

The report projects that by the end of 2020, this ratio will increase to 15.9 per cent of disposable income from its late 2015 level of 14.1 per cent.

The office says this increase would mean households would be even more vulnerable to negative shocks to their income or to interest rates -- which could also have a negative effect on financial institutions.

The budget office says the ratio's highest level over the past 25 years was 14.9 per cent -- a mark reached in late 2007.

The Bank of Canada has pointed to the potential hazards linked to high household debt -- particularly if the country were hit by a severe recession or a prolonged period of increasing unemployment.

But the central bank has argued that the likelihood of household debt levels becoming a serious problem remains low and the situation is likely to improve once the economy starts to recover.

The bank has said there's been little evidence of significant increases in delinquency rates.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Postmedia selling Infomart division

    Economic CBC News
    Postmedia Network Canada Corp. has signed a deal to sell Infomart, its media monitoring division, to Meltwater News Canada Inc. for $38.25 million. The cash-strapped media company says net proceeds from the sale will be used to repay debt. Source
  • A new platform for Whole Foods? How deal could upend grocery

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Seeing Whole Foods products first in Amazon searches? Breezing through the grocer's stores with an app that scans affordable fruits and seafood? Those are among the possible scenarios that unnerved the food industry last week, when Amazon announced a $13.7 billion megadeal to acquire Whole Foods. Source
  • Foreign home buyers surge 37 per cent in Montreal on growth in Chinese purchases

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Canada's federal housing agency says the number of foreign buyers in the Montreal area surged by 37 per cent in the first four months of the year. The 236 purchases by foreigners accounted for 1.8 per cent of all real estate transactions from January to April, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Source
  • Qatar Airways seeks 10% stake in American Airlines

    Economic CBC News
    State-owned Qatar Airways is attempting to buy 10 per cent of American Airlines, a surprising move that would trigger an antitrust review by the U.S. government and carry political and trade-policy implications. American Airlines Group Inc. Source
  • Boeing plays down Bombardier dispute, still hopes to sell fighter jets to Canada

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA - A senior Boeing official says the U.S. aerospace giant's trade dispute with Montreal-based rival Bombardier is a "company-to-company issue." And Leanne Caret, the head of Boeing's massive defence, security and space division, still hopes to sell Super Hornet fighter jets to Canada. Source
  • Full list of 59 Sears Canada stores slated to close

    Economic CTV News
    Sears Canada will be closing stores in every province except Prince Edward Island, as the retailer slashes 2,900 jobs amid a major restructuring effort. Sears filed for court protection from creditors on Thursday, before announcing that it will close 20 full-line locations, 15 Sears Home stores, 10 outlet stores and 14 Sears Hometown locations. Source
  • Canadian retail sales top April forecasts

    Economic CBC News
    Canadian consumer spending in April was stronger than expected, which economists say lends weight to the Bank of Canada's recent suggestions that interest rate hikes could be on the way. Statistics Canada reported Thursday that retail sales for April rose by 0.8 per cent on a monthly basis to $48.6 billion. Source
  • Warren Buffett’s company buys into Toronto-based Home Capital

    Economic Toronto Sun
    TORONTO - Home Capital Group Inc. says American investment firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has agreed to indirectly acquire $400 million of its common shares in a private placement and provide a new $2 billion line of credit to its subsidiary, Home Trust Company. Source
  • Sears Canada cutting 2,900 jobs, closing 59 locations

    Economic Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Sears Canada said Thursday it is seeking court protection from its creditors in order to restructure its business. The struggling retailer has piled up losses and seen its stock dive, losing more than 80 per cent of its value in the last year, despite efforts to reinvent itself at a time when more Canadians are shirking bricks-and-mortar in favour of online shopping. Source
  • New cryptocurrencies offering more than just a way to pay for things online

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The success of bitcoin has spurred the launch of hundreds of copycat digital payment systems looking to cash in on the popularity of the cryptocurrency. But now a new generation of digital assets are gaining momentum, offering to do more with blockchain -- the technology that powers bitcoin as a currency -- than just allow a way to pay for things online using virtual Internet money. Source