Consumer debt in Canada reaches a new high

Canadian consumer debt levels continued to reach new heights in the fourth quarter, although 46% of people reduced their personal debts, the Equifax Canada credit monitoring agency said on Monday.

In its most recent report on consumer credit trends, the agency says the average debt of Canadians has risen 3.3% to $22,837 per person.

The part of the population that increased its debt level, 37%, did so with larger sums, she said.

Among the largest cities in Canada, per capita debt was $17,444 in Montreal, by far the lowest in the country. The average debt in Quebec was the second lowest in Canada at $19,123, slightly higher than Manitoba’s.

Taking into account mortgages, Canadian consumer debt totaled $1821 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 6% from $1718 billion in the same period of 2016.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2016, installment loans, auto loans and mortgages posted increases of 10.3%, 6.5% and 6.2% respectively.

Canada’s delinquency rate of 90 days and over dropped 6.4% from the previous year, while consumer bankruptcies also declined 1.7%.

Despite the high debt, mortgage payments are generally made on time, which could be due to low unemployment and interest rates on mortgages and auto loans that are still at historic lows and low levels. reasonable.

Regina Malina, Senior Director of Decision-Making at Equifax Canada

These new figures are unveiled as an international financial group held by the world’s central banks revealed that certain ratios calculated from data on Canada betrayed early signs of potential risk to its financial system in the coming years.

According to the most recent report of the Bank for International Settlements, the ratio of credit to gross domestic product and debt service suggests some vulnerabilities.

However, the group stresses that these indicators should not be considered as formal stress tests, but as a first step in a broader analysis.

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