According to Cooper, the Bank of Canada's limited ability to offset a negative shock has the bank signalling the need for fiscal measures and risk-limiting regulations to lessen the gap between household debt and assets.
The Bank of Canada has said the high debt level posed a vulnerability for the financial system, and that the amount of debt compared to disposable income was becoming alarming. As as result, the ratio of household debt to disposable income (excluding pension entitlements) rose to 167.6%, up from 165.2% in Q1.
"The upward trend in household debt, which started as far back as we have data - 1990 - is showing no signs of ending anytime soon", said Benjamin Reitzes, economist at BMO Capital Markets, citing rising house prices in Canada's biggest cities, led by Toronto, and weak gains in hourly wages.
Sales of existing Canadian homes fell in August, the fourth straight monthly decline, with sales in Vancouver tumbling almost 19 percent as a tax on foreign buyers doused activity in Canada's most expensive market, the Canadian Real Estate Association said in a report that also predicted prices will start to fall in 2017.