WRAPUP 1-Canadians' credit binge continues, but at slower pace

Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:18am EST
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* Debt-to-income ratio hits record high of 165 pct

* Pace of household credit growth slowing

* New home prices rise 0.2 pct in October

* Q3 industrial capacity use unchanged at 80.9 pct

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Canadians continued to pile on personal debt in the third quarter, pushing the debt-to-income ratio to a record high in what has become the biggest headache for central bank chief Mark Carney as he keeps interest rates low to spur growth.

There was evidence, however, that Canadians are curbing their appetite for mortgage credit as the country's housing market cools.

The ratio of credit market debt to disposable income rose to 164.6 from the previous record high of 163.3 in the second quarter as borrowing grew faster than incomes, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The trend is similar to that seen in the United States and Britain before the global financial meltdown, and that similarity prompted the government to tighten mortgages rules in July for the fourth time since 2008.   Continued...