There’s increasing concern the Bank of Canada could move to increase its overnight rate even ahead of its own schedule if consumers don’t get a tighter hold on their spending.

While this week Bank governor Mark Carney told MPs in Otttawa that he welcomes recent numbers suggesting rising household debt has begun to stall, he also indicated the BoC will move to raise rates sooner than later if necessary.

Due to “reduced slack in the economy and firmer underlying inflation, some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary policy stimulus may become appropriate, consistent with achieving the 2% inflation target over the medium term,” he told the House of Commons Finance committee.

His comments come as global markets still struggle to find their footing and the U.S. unemployment numbers have only begun to moderate.

Still, debt accumulation slowing, Carney told MPs.

That isn't true for household debt, which has kept growing despite the weak economy, in large part because of the low interest rates Carney’s own monetary policy promoted.

That has now started to change, as Canadian households slow their level of debt accumulation to 4 per cent annually.

But, with the average debt at 151 per cent of disposable income continues to put Canadian households in peril.

"New debt is locking in,” he said Tuesday. “The question is whether existing debt is doing the same."
 

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