The ratio of Canadian household debt to disposable income rose to a record high in the third quarter of the year, mainly because consumers increased their mortgage borrowing, said Statistics Canada Friday.
The credit market debt increased to 163.7 percent of the disposable income in the third quarter, compared with 163.1 percent in the previous quarter. Mortgage borrowing went up 1.8 percent to 1.13 trillion Canadian dollars (about 1.067 trillion U. S. dollars).
It came just after Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said in a speech Thursday that household debt represents the biggest threat to the Canadian economy, suggesting that he'd be cutting interest rates if he weren't worried of fueling more borrowing in a time of near record-high levels of household debt and an overheated housing market.
"Our current monetary policy weighs this risk against the risk of inflation falling even further below target," Poloz said in Montreal. "This zone of balance is relevant today and in prospect, as we expect both risks to diminish over the next two years or so. "