The Financial Post reports in its Friday, May 17, edition that the Bank of Canada's annual Financial System Review (FSR) says household debt still is too high, but credit growth now is slowing and fewer high-risk borrowers are taking on more debt than they can reasonably afford. The Post's Kevin Carmichael writes that similarly, sharp drops in home prices in Vancouver and Toronto since they peaked in 2016 suggest speculators have been chased from those markets, allowing the fundamentals of supply and demand to reassert themselves.
Mr. Poloz said, "The main vulnerabilities that we see today are the same as those in the 2018 FSR -- elevated levels of household debt and imbalances in housing markets." All things being equal, if the threat of a credit bust is receding, the central bank can focus on ensuring Canada's faltering economy generates enough growth to keep inflation on target. That likely means leaving policy -- both interest rates and "macroprudential" restrictions on mortgage lending -- exactly where it is.
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