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Economic Viewpoint

The Financial Position of Quebec Households

August 28, 2017
François Dupuis, Vice-President and Chief Economist • Hélène Bégin, Senior Economist • Danny Bélanger, Economist

Household debt has been rising much faster than income since the start of the 2000s. This widely reported debt ratio even shattered a historic peak in Quebec, but it still below the level of Ontario and Canada. Should we be concerned? Other, more comprehensive indicators are not nearly as alarming. If we consider the low interest rates and the sharp growth in asset values in the past 15 years, Quebecers are in a sound financial position overall. What’s more, the share of households that may be unable to repay their loans is still relatively contained. As household debt climbed, so did the value of their assets, but at a somewhat faster pace, thus improving their financial standing. But the economic and financial environment can sometimes change in a blink, and the risk of households’ financial position deteriorating is nevertheless a concern.