Number of highly indebted households on the rise as COVID-19 aid winds down: BoC

Click to play video: 'Bank of Canada says inflation will near 5% by end of year, staying higher for longer than forecast'
Bank of Canada says inflation will near 5% by end of year, staying higher for longer than forecast
During a news conference on Wednesday, Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem said as a result of ongoing supply chain disruptions and higher energy prices, the central bank now forecasts that annual inflation rates will continue their upward to nearly five per cent by the end of the year before coming back to its two per cent target by the end of 2022 – Oct 27, 2021

A senior official at the Bank of Canada says the number of highly indebted households appears to be back on the rise as pandemic aid from governments winds down.

In a speech today to conference held by the Ontario Securities Commission, deputy governor Paul Beaudry says unprecedented federal aid and restrictions that limited where consumers could spend helped bolster the finances of Canadian households during the pandemic.

But now he says that vulnerabilities linked to elevated household debt appear to be on the rise again after a slight pause.

Beaudry says bank calculations suggest the share of highly indebted household should this year surpass the pre-pandemic peak recorded in 2019.

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He partly points to a long period of historically low interest rates as a reason for why households took on more debt.

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It’s why he is warns the economy is likely now more sensitive to any increase in borrowing costs.

Click to play video: 'High-interest lending takes off during COVID-19 pandemic'
High-interest lending takes off during COVID-19 pandemic

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