Canadian total (household, business, and all levels of government) debt numbers as of the end of March, 2017

The borrowing and spending binge by Canadian households, businesses and governments (all levels) continues unabated. Growing the debt in the economy significantly faster than the economy itself grows seems to have developed into a way of life in Canada.

At the end of March, 2017 the total debt outstanding in Canada (bottom line of the Statistics Canada credit market summary data table) was $7.35 trillion. At the end of March, 2016 the total debt outstanding was $7.02 trillion. In the 1 year period from the end of March, 2016 to the end of March, 2017 it increased by $332 billion. This is an increase of 4.7%.

The approximate beginning of the global financial crisis was June, 2007. At the end of June, 2007 the total debt outstanding in Canada was $3.99 trillion. In the last 9-3/4 years it has increased by $3.36 trillion. This is an increase of 84.2%.

Looking at the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors in Canada (17th line up from the bottom of the credit market summary data table):

At the end of March, 2017 the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors was $5.19 trillion. At the end of March, 2016 the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors was $4.96 trillion. In the 1 year period from the end of March, 2016 to the end of March, 2017 it increased by $235 billion. This is an increase of 4.7%.

At the end of June, 2007 the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors was $2.84 trillion. In the last 9-3/4 years it has increased by $2.34 trillion. This is an increase of 82.5%.

The start date of this Statistics Canada data table can be changed by clicking on the “add/remove data” tab at the top of the page.

(This next section uses the gross domestic product at market prices method of measuring the size of the economy.)

At the end of March, 2017 the annual gdp at market prices in Canada was $2.11 trillion, and in the preceding 1 year it grew by 5.4%, - ie: the size of the economy grew by $114.1 billion.

In the 1 year period from the end of March, 2016 to the end of March, 2017 the total debt outstanding in Canada increased by $332 billion. For each $1.00 the economy grew in this 1 year period (using the gdp at market prices metric) the total debt outstanding increased by $2.90.

Looking at just the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors in Canada: In the 1 year period from the end of March, 2016 to the end of March, 2017 the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors increased by $235 billion. For each $1.00 the economy grew in this 1 year period (using the gdp at market prices metric) the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors increased by $2.05.

At the end of March, 2017 the total debt outstanding in Canada was 3.4 times greater than our annual gdp at market prices, and looking at just the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors, that was 2.4 times greater than our annual gdp at market prices.

(This next section uses the real gross domestic product at market prices method of measuring the size of the economy.)

At the end of March, 2017 the real annual gdp at market prices in Canada was $1.82 trillion, and in the preceding 1 year it grew by 2.3%, - ie: the size of the economy grew by $42 billion.

In the 1 year period from the end of March, 2016 to the end of March, 2017 the total debt outstanding in Canada increased by $332 billion. For each $1.00 the economy grew in this 1 year period (using the real gdp at market prices metric) the total debt outstanding increased by $7.90.

Looking at just the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors in Canada: In the 1 year period from the end of March, 2016 to the end of March, 2017 the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors increased by $235 billion. For each $1.00 the economy grew in this 1 year period (using the real gdp at market prices metric) the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors increased by $5.59.

At the end of March, 2017 the total debt outstanding in Canada was 4 times greater than our real annual gdp at market prices and looking at just the total debt outstanding of domestic non-financial sectors, that was 2.8 times greater than our real annual gdp at market prices.