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Canada's Household Leverage Isn't Abnormal, National Bank Says

  • Given fundamentals, debt looks reasonable by global comparison
  • Job growth, demographics to balance rising debt ratios
A mailman stands in front of a house in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

Record levels of Canadian household debt have sparked concern it’s a bubble in the making, but leverage may actually be more conservative than people think, according to one of the country’s largest commercial lenders.

Household debt ratios and the rapid pace of home-price growth in Canada aren’t abnormal compared with global peers, National Bank of Canada said, citing data from the federal statistics agency that show the country’s economy is expanding at the fastest pace in the Group of Seven and job growth is surging.