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Canada household debt-to-GDP ratio the highest in the world: OECD

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If you ever feel like the debt is just piling on for your household, you’re not alone.

Canadians are carrying the highest private debt load out of any country in the world, according to a pre-released portion of a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Bloomberg reports that national household debt totals more than 100 per cent of Canada’s GDP. South Korea and the United Kingdom follow close behind, with household debt in excess of 80 per cent of national GDP.

“Household and corporate debt in many advanced and emerging market economies is high,” reads the OECD’s release. “While higher indebtedness does not necessarily imply that problems are just around the corner, it does increase vulnerability to shocks.”

The Canadian government has already put measures in place to try and curb some of these shocks. All mortgages as of Jan. 1, 2018 will require a stress-test, to ensure borrowers could still make payments even if rates were to rise by up to two percentage points.

Nonetheless, Canada remains a nation of borrowers. Statistics Canada reported that in the second quarter of 2017, household debt levels were at 168%, meaning Canadians owed $1.68 for every $1 they made.

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