Household worth rebounds after recession
Rising stocks and home prices have helped restore almost all of the value Canadians lost in household net worth during the economic downturn.
Household net worth rose 1.3%, or by $74-billion, to $6-trillion, as the growth in the value of assets, particularly equities and residential real estate, exceeded the increase in liabilities, Statistics Canada reported Monday.
“This marks the fourth consecutive quarterly improvement in household net worth and reflects a 96% recovery off the net worth lost during the recent economic downturn,” David Onyett-Jeffries, economist at RBC Economics Research, wrote in an analysis.
“The increase of household net worth continues to repair the cumulative $552-billion decline.”
Household debt has also risen as low interest rates have encouraged Canadians to increase borrowings, but that has led to strengthening in demand and asset prices, particularly housing, said Mr. Onyett-Jeffries.
The ratio of household credit-market debt to income rose to 147% from 144.9% in the fourth quarter, while other consumer loan growth slowed, Statistics Canada said in its report.
Meanwhile, the federal agency also reported that national net worth — national wealth minus net foreign liabilities — edged up 0.6%, or more than $38-billion, to $6.2-trillion in the first quarter.
On a per capital basis, national net worth reached $181,500, up from $180,900 in the previous quarter, Statistics Canada reported.
Total government debt rose, climbing 2.1% to $1.7-trillion as borrowings by all levels of government increased as bond issuance rose, especially by the federal government.