Statscan issues reports on personal debt and manufacturing

Statistics Canada says Canadian households slid deeper into debt in the first quarter as the use of credit outpaced income growth.

Statistics Canada says Canadian households slid deeper into debt in the first quarter as the use of credit outpaced income growth. The ratio of household debt to disposable income rose to 149.47 per cent from 147.64 a year earlier. That means Canadians owe $1.49 for every after-tax dollar they earn. Credit market debt grew by 1.3 per cent in the quarter, while personal disposable income grew by 0.7 per cent.

Mortgage debt grew, as Canadians continued to take advantage of historically low interest rates. However, the increase in consumer credit debt slowed along with lower household spending.

The manufacturing sector rebounded in 2010 after a tough 2009, as widespread growth reversed many downward trends. Manufacturing sales increased 8.9 per cent to $529.8 billion in 2010 after a 17.8 per cent decline in 2009. It was the largest single annual increase since 2000. The manufacturing sector regained about 40 per cent of the 2009 decline, which was the largest on record. Constant-dollar sales increased 8.7 per cent in 2010, after a 15.6 per cent drop in 2009.

Current-dollar sales advanced in 19 of 21 industries, representing 95.4 per cent of total Canadian manufacturing.

The three largest increases in dollar terms came in motor vehicles (up 29.9 per cent), petroleum and coal products (15.2) and primary metal manufacturing (23.8).

Growth was the greatest in Ontario (up 11.2 per cent), Alberta (11.3) and Quebec (4.6).