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Statistics Canada says household debt-to-income ratio fell in first quarter

FILE - This Aug. 11, 2019 file photo shows Visa credit cards in New Orleans. In the current economic crisis, some consumers will seek debt relief when their obligations become overwhelming. If the Great Recession is any indicator, that means more consumers will turn to debt settlement, a risky debt relief option, rather than credit counseling, which keeps them in good standing with creditors. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the amount Canadians owe compared with their income fell in the first quarter compared with the end of last year.

The agency says household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income on a seasonally adjusted basis fell to 172.3 per cent in the first quarter.

The reading compared with 174.0 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2020 as an increase in household income outpaced an increase in debt.

The result means Canadians owed $1.72 in credit market debt for every dollar of household disposable income.

Meanwhile, the household debt service ratio, measured as total obligated payments of principal and interest on credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income, fell to 13.45 per cent from 13.55 per cent in the fourth quarter.

The decrease came as the seasonally adjusted household savings rate rose to 13.1 per cent in the first quarter compared with 11.9 per cent in the last quarter of 2020.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2021.

The Canadian Press