Statistics Canada says household debt grew faster than income in fourth-quarter

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the amount Canadians owe relative to their income ticked higher in the fourth quarter of last year as the growth in debt slightly outpaced income growth.

The agency says that seasonally adjusted household credit market debt, as a proportion of disposable income, increased to 178.5 per cent in the fourth quarter. That compared with a revised reading of 178.3 per cent in the third quarter.

That means there was roughly $1.79 in credit market debt for every dollar of household disposable income.

Credit market debt, which includes consumer credit and mortgage and non-mortgage loans, totalled nearly $2.21 trillion in the fourth quarter.

Mortgage debt reached nearly $1.44 trillion, while consumer credit and non-mortgage loans combined to total $769.4 billion.

The household debt service ratio, the total obligated payments of principal and interest on credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income, increased to 14.9 per cent in the quarter compared with revised reading of 14.7 per cent in the third quarter.

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