February 23, 2012 Similar to the experiences in many other countries, household indebtedness in Canada has exhibited an upward trend over the past 30 years. Both mortgage and non-mortgage (consumer) credit have contributed to this development. In this article, the authors use microdata to highlight the main factors underlying the strong trend increase since the late 1990s. Favourable housing affordability, owing to factors such as income growth and low interest rates, has supported significant increases in home-ownership rates and mortgage debt. Much of the rise in consumer credit has been facilitated by higher housing values (used as collateral for loans) and financial innovation that makes it easier for households to access this credit.
September 15, 2008 The Bank of Canada maintains regular contact with financial institutions as part of the information-gathering process that feeds into the larger set of information used to arrive at its monetary policy decision. Since 1999, the Bank has been conducting a quarterly survey of the business-lending practices of major Canadian financial institutions. Analysis of the information collected shows that it is correlated with future growth in both credit and business investment. This article focuses on how the survey is conducted and describes the construction of the summary statistics, highlighting the key statistical relationships in the historical survey data.