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Canadian Household Debt-to-Income Ratio Rises to Record 165%

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March 15 (Bloomberg) -- The ratio of Canadian household debt to disposable income rose to another record last quarter, calling into question Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney’s assertion that families are listening to his warnings about the risks of borrowing too much.

Credit-market debt such as mortgages rose to 165.0 percent of disposable income, compared with 164.7 percent in the prior three-month period, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa.

In his previous two policy statements, Carney weakened language about the need to raise the central bank’s 1 percent policy interest rate, partly on evidence a housing boom was slowing and consumer debt burdens are stabilizing. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened mortgage rules in July on concern some regional housing markets were overheating.

National net worth rose 1 percent to C$6.87 trillion ($6.73 trillion) in the fourth quarter, Statistics Canada said. On a per capita basis the increase was to C$195,900 from C$194,300.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at gquinn1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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