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Household debt – an overblown issue?

General Angela Calla 1 Jun

In a headline that runs contrary to the more inflammatory and regular warnings seen in mainstream media, the Fraser Institute released a report on May 20th titled ‘Concern about Canadian household debt levels overblown when assets, other measures taken into account’.

It cited such key statistics as the growth of assets owned by Canadian households to a current total of $10 Trillion, with household debt growing at a much slower rate to $1.8 Trillion.

In other words, for every $10.00 of assets we own, we owe just $1.80. Hardly a fear-inducing ratio.

As far as the apparent desire of the media to link Canadian household debt data to that of the United States household debt data prior to the U.S. Real Estate meltdown, the Fraser Institute’s report cites the key systemic differences in the two countries lending policies. Namely, the inherent stability of the Canadian structure.

The bottom line is that appreciation of assets is outpacing quite handily the rate at which Canadian consumers are taking on new debt and when measured against our current assets we are clearly in a stronger position than many might otherwise realize.


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