* Debt-to-income ratio rises to 164.6 pct in third quarter
* Increase is smaller than in previous quarter
* Bank of Canada sees signs of improvement
OTTAWA, Dec 13 Canadian households continued to
increase their debt load in the third quarter, pushing the
debt-to-income ratio to an all-time high of 164.6 from 163.3 in
the previous quarter, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
The Bank of Canada this week said soaring personal debt in
Canada remained the number one domestic threat to the financial
system. However, central bank chief Mark Carney said there were
recent signs Canadians had become more prudent in their
The increase in the credit market debt-to-income ratio was
smaller than in the previous quarter, Statscan said.
The pace of growth in mortgage debt slowed somewhat from the
previous quarter but was still up by C$18.4 billion ($18.8
billion) to C$1.1 trillion. Consumer credit rose to C$474
billion in the third quarter from C$467 billion in the second.
About 64 percent of the credit market debt held by
households is comprised of mortgages, 28 percent is consumer
credit - mostly credit cards, and the remainder is non-mortgage