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Tide is turning in Canadians’ big debt runup Add to ...

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Canadians’ high debt levels have long loomed as perhaps the biggest risk to the country’s economic health. But the latest data from Statistics Canada show that those ominous storm clouds, while not entirely blowing over, are certainly parting.

Statscan’s National Balance Sheet and Financial Flow Accounts report for the first quarter, released Thursday, shows that total household debt rose just 0.4 per cent in the quarter, its slowest pace in four years. On a year-over-year basis, household debt grew 4.2 per cent – its slowest pace in more than 12 years.

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