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Friday, 6 April 2012
Mark Carney willing to act if debt levels keep climbing
The Canadian Press
Posted: Apr 6, 2012 9:56 AM ET
Bank of Canada governor said in an interview with The Canadian Press that he would be prepared to intervene if things got out of hand.
"In exceptional circumstances, if there are issues that threaten financial stability, such as household debt ... the bank could use monetary policy for that purpose," he said. "That factors into our decision-making without question."
"We have never been as indebted as we are today as individuals," he said. "We've done analysis which shows that about 10 per cent of Canadians are vulnerable if interest rates returned to more normal levels, which will happen."
Private sector economists are almost unanimous in the view that housing prices are too high in Canada in relation to fundamentals, such as incomes and the cost of renting. That suggests a correction is coming, in the neighbourhood of 10 to 25 per cent, with some hot markets like Vancouver and Toronto possibly facing an even bigger reckoning.