Monthly credit aggregates, February 2023
The total credit liabilities of households (including mortgage and non-mortgage loan debt) increased 0.3% (+$9.3 billion) to reach $2,834.8 billion in February. At 0.3%, the pace of growth for mortgage loan debt remained steady for the fifth consecutive month, while growth in non-mortgages accelerated to 0.4% in February. Real estate secured debt, composed of both mortgage debt and home equity lines of credit, grew $6.4 billion (+0.3%) to reach $2,273.6 billion.
Household mortgage debt growth continues at slower pace
In February, household mortgage debt increased $6.4 billion to reach $2,103.1 billion, posting a 0.31% growth rate, a slight acceleration from the 0.27% growth rate recorded in January. Growth slowed considerably compared with February 2022, which recorded a month-over-month increase of 0.82%.
Existing home sales rebounded in February 2023, with sales volumes increasing 1.5% after decreasing 3.4% in the previous month. The average sale price rose to roughly $631,000 in February after declining to $621,000 in January. According to the New Housing Price Index, the national index declined 0.2% month over month in February, following a similar decrease in January. The policy interest rate remained at 4.50% in February after increasing by 25 basis points in the previous month.
Household credit card debt grows at faster pace
Non-mortgage loan debt rose 0.4% (+$2.8 billion) in February after edging up 0.2% in each of the previous three months. Credit card debt with chartered banks grew 1.45% (+$1.3 billion) in February, its growth rate accelerating for the third consecutive month after decelerating to 0.77% in November 2022. From February 2022 to February 2023, credit card debt with chartered banks grew 14.5%, while retail sales rose 3.7% based on an advance estimate. Outstanding balances on home equity lines of credit remained at $170.5 billion in February after increasing by $0.2 billion in January.
Persistently high interest rates and inflation are likely to continue to put a financial strain on households as they continue to access credit to fund their spending, especially for more vulnerable groups. According to the latest estimates from the Distributions of Household Economic Accounts, annual growth in non-mortgage debt at the end of 2022 continued to be strongest for the lowest 40% of wealth holders (+10.4%) and for those aged less than 45 years (+3.5%).
Private non-financial corporation borrowing
Non-mortgage loan growth accelerates for second consecutive month
In February, total credit liabilities (i.e., loans and debt securities) of private non-financial corporations rose 0.9% (+$18.1 billion) to reach $1,989.7 billion, the largest monthly increase since September 2022.
Total non-mortgage loan liabilities of private non-financial corporations grew 1.0% (+$9.0 billion) to reach $920.9 billion in February, the second consecutive month of accelerated growth. In February, non-mortgage loans from chartered banks increased 1.3% (+$8.1 billion), a faster pace than in January (+1.0%) and December 2022 (+0.6%), while those from non-banks grew 0.4% (+$1.0 billion) after declining 0.7% in January.
Government non-mortgage loans to private non-financial corporations decreased 0.5% to reach $58.0 billion in February, a decline of 11.0% (-$7.2 billion) since the end of June 2021 (when the application period for the Canadian Emergency Business Account program closed).
The mortgage debt of private non-financial corporations increased 0.29% to reach $366.4 billion in February, decelerating slightly from the 0.34% rise in January.
On a seasonally unadjusted basis, private non-financial corporations recorded net issuances in debt securities (+$1.2 billion) in February. These debt securities were composed of net issuances of long-term instruments (+$0.7 billion), following net retirements in January (-$2.3 billion), and net issuances of short-term instruments (+$0.5 billion), which were lower than in January (+$2.3 billion).
Overall borrowing by private non-financial corporations, composed of the increase in the outstanding level of seasonally unadjusted loans and the net issuances of debt securities, was $13.6 billion in February, the highest amount recorded since August 2022.
Note to readers
Unless otherwise stated, this release presents data adjusted for seasonality.
This release of the monthly credit aggregates for the month of February 2023 includes revised estimates from January 2022 to January 2023. These data incorporate new and revised data, as well as updated data on seasonal trends.
Overview of the monthly credit aggregates
The monthly credit aggregates break down a portion of the quarterly national balance sheet accounts (NBSA) by month. They provide details on lending to households and non-financial corporations—in other words, the stock of these sectors' outstanding liabilities from the debtor perspective—across a range of credit instruments, including mortgage loans, non-mortgage loans and debt and equity securities. The aggregates cover all lending sectors, including chartered banks, non-bank deposit-taking institutions, other financial corporations, government and other lenders. The estimates are presented as booked-in-Canada to capture activity within Canada, with either domestic or non-resident lenders. In addition, amounts are reported on an end-of-period basis (i.e., the value of the stock of an asset on the final day of the month). The third month of each quarter is benchmarked to the corresponding quarterly release of the NBSA.
Household sector borrowing is divided into financing in the form of non-mortgage loans (i.e., funds principally for consumption) and mortgage loans (i.e., debt acquired to finance the purchase of a property, whether residential or non-residential in nature). Household borrowing in the form of mortgage debt and home equity lines of credit is referred to as real estate secured debt and presents a further delineation of household liabilities associated with residential and non-residential properties.
As with the household sector, non-financial corporation borrowing is divided into non-mortgage and mortgage loans. However, overall credit liabilities of non-financial corporations also include their borrowing in the form of debt securities, with terms to maturity that are both short term and long term in duration.
The NBSA are composed of the balance sheets of all sectors and subsectors of the economy. The main sectors are households, non-profit institutions serving households, financial corporations, non-financial corporations, government and non-residents. The NBSA cover all national non-financial assets and all financial asset-liability claims outstanding in all sectors and, similarly, present stocks at the end of each quarter.
Estimates are available on a seasonally adjusted basis to improve the interpretability of period-to-period changes in debt. For information on seasonal adjustment, see "Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions."
For more information on the concepts, methodologies and classifications used to compile these monthly estimates, please see the document "Guide to the Monthly Credit Aggregates."
Data on the monthly credit aggregates for March 2023 will be released on May 19, 2023.
As a complement to this release, the documents "Guide to the Monthly Credit Aggregates" and "A preview of revisions to the Financial and Wealth Accounts, 1990 to 2022," which are part of Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (13-605-X), are available.
As a complement to this release, the data visualization products "Financial accounts on a from-whom-to-whom basis, selected financial instruments," "Distributions of Household Economic Accounts, Wealth: Interactive tool" and "Securities statistics," which are part of Statistics Canada – Data Visualization Products (71-607-X), are also available.
The Economic accounts statistics portal, accessible from the Subjects module of the Statistics Canada website, provides an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structure.
The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (13-606-G) is available.
The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (13-607-X) is available.
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