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April 4, 2012

Canadian households are saddled with unprecedented amounts of debt through bank loans, credit cards and lines of credit, according to a report released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In The Rise in Consumer Credit and Bankruptcy: Cause for Concern?, author James MacGee finds that debt levels associated with consumer credit are higher than at any point in recent history, and are now higher than those of American households.  This raises concerns about the sustainability of household finances, the risks to the broader economy and the merits of government intervention, he says. “At present, there is no cause for panic,” says MacGee, “but there are warning signs in the numbers that are reason for concern, and merit close watching.”