Household debt eases but mortgages remain strong

Canadians owe $1.65 for each dollar of disposable income according to Statistics Canada with an increase in debt levels driven by mortgage borrowing.

The debt ratio for the first quarter of 2016 was 165.3 per cent, slightly below the 1.64 per cent of the fourth quarter of 2015 but still near the record high.

Mortgage borrowing, which accounted for 65.6 per cent of total consumer credit, continued the upward trend which began in the first quarter of 2010 to reach $1.268 billion.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, mortgage borrowing in the first quarter was $17.5 billion (total borrowing was $24.4 billion) and was down slightly from the last quarter of 2015 ($20.7 billion.)

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