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CHHMA NEWS

CHHMA - EYE ON OUR INDUSTRY
Volume 12, Issue 34, September 12, 2012

Inside This Issue:

Register and/or Donate Items for the 11th Annual Industry Memorial Golf Classic
Robert Dutton Breakfast Meeting to be Re-scheduled 
Are You and Your Fellow Employees Taking Advantage of Potential Savings on Home and Auto Insurance?  
HARDLINES Introduces New Retail Innovation Award  
Dollarama Profit Jumps 32% in Second Quarter
Toronto Condo Projects Spark Increase in Housing Starts
New Mortgage Rules Will Cool Housing Market
Building Permits Down 2.3% in July
Latest Jobs Growth Blows Past Expectations but Overall Trend Still Modest 
Canadian Trade Deficit Rises to Record High in July
Moody’s Warns on High Canadian Debt Loads
 

Association News



Register and/or Donate Items for the 11th Annual Industry Memorial Golf Classic 
 
The 11th Annual Industry Memorial Golf Classic taking place on Tuesday, October 2nd at the Blue Springs Golf Club in Acton, Ontario.

The event is held on behalf of the hardware and housewares industry and it honours stalwarts from the industry who have passed away.

This year’s honourees are:

Bill Caldwell – Founder of Moldex Limited and United Extrusions
Brayl Copp – Former Owner and President of Copp’s Buildall
Ed Hardison – Worked for Moldex Limited and was President of the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (1986-2002)
Stuart North – Worked at Techtronics Industries Canada Inc. as Director of Operations

Past honourees include: Joseph Kuchar, Shelly Lush, Jack Pountney, Christof Vanooteghem, Ian Hay, Trygve Husebye, Bernie Carpenter, Don McDonald, Les Groves, Bob Hilton, Doug Straus, Mel Boshart, George Giles and Ed Barnes.

The day allows family, friends and colleagues to honour these gentlemen while enjoying a fun day out on the golf course followed by a dinner and silent auction.

Registration and lunch starts at 10:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at noon. Dinner will commence at around 6:00 p.m.

For further details and to register, please click here.

Money raised from hole sponsorships and the silent auction will go towards the CHHMA Scholarship Program which provides support for children of CHHMA member company employees to attend university or college.

Consider donating an item or items for the silent auction. Housewares or hardware products, golf items or any item interesting and/or unique would be sincerely appreciated. Whether or not you can attend the event, your donation will contribute to the Scholarship Program which has benefited 65 young people since 2001.

Click here for a silent auction pledge form. 



Robert Dutton Breakfast Meeting to be Re-scheduled   
 
Unfortunately, the CHHMA breakfast meeting with RONA’s Robert Dutton that was scheduled for October 23rd at the Hotel Mortagne in Boucherville, Quebec has had to be postponed due to a conflict with Mr. Dutton’s schedule.

The CHHMA is working to re-schedule the breakfast meeting with Mr. Dutton for a later date.


 
Are You and Your Fellow Employees Taking Advantage of Potential Savings on Home and Auto Insurance?
 
Did you know being a member of the CHHMA (includes all employees of CHHMA member companies, their spouses and dependent children residing at home or away at school) gives you access to exclusive group rates for home and insurance through the Association’s group plan with Economical Select (formerly Waterloo Insurance; company has just undergone a recent name change and rebranding)?

In addition to the group rate, CHHMA members may be eligible for extra discounts that could save you up to 60% off your insurance premiums:

Auto Insurance
• Private passenger vehicles
• Motorcycles
• Snowmobiles
• All-terrain vehicles
• Recreational vehicles (including RV’s, trailers and motor homes)
Auto Insurance Discounts
• Multi-policy
• Conviction-free
• Renewal
• Anti-theft
• Multi-vehicle
• Age
Property Insurance
• Homeowners
• Tenants
• Condominiums
• Rented dwellings
• Seasonal dwellings
• Personal umbrella coverage
• Watercraft coverage
• Increased liability limits
Property Insurance Discounts
• Security/ fire alarm
• Newer home
• Mature homeowner
• Mortgage-free
• Claims-free
• Renewal
 
Many members are already receiving significant savings through the Association plan, so why aren’t you?

Call today for a no-obligation quote
at 1-866-247-7700, Quebec residents at 1-888-542-4811 (say you are calling for the CHHMA group plan and can even mention the group code of 6347) and receive a $5.00 Tim Horton’s Gift Card as a token of thanks just for getting a quote. You will also be entered into a draw to win $2,012.

You can also obtain a convenient and instant on-line quote by going to the following link: https://www.insuranceondemand.ca/waterloo/main.aspx and entering GROUP CODE 6347 in the Group Code Box after entering your contact information. This unique code identifies you as an eligible member employee. You can receive a quote and then buy online if you choose.

Please note the program is offered on behalf of the association to all employees but in no way holds member companies responsible for the administration of the program.

If you would like to receive some promotional materials (lunch room posters, mailers) to help communicate the program to your employees, please contact Michael Jorgenson at mjorgenson@chhma.ca or 416-282-0022 ext. 34.

For further information on the program, please go to: https://www.chhma.ca/Public/Group-Home-and-Auto-Insurance-Program.

For further information on Economical Select, visit: http://www.economicalselect.com.

This Association program is brought to you by Aaxel Insurance Brokers (insurance broker for the CHHMA home & auto insurance and commercial insurance plans).
 

 
Industry News
 
HARDLINES Introduces New Retail Innovation Award  
 
HARDLINES has developed a new award to honour excellence in retail innovation within Canada’s hardware and home improvement industry called the Mark Robichaud Award for Retail Innovation.

The award has been named in honour of one of the home improvement industry’s pioneers. Marc Robichaud was the owner of UJ Robichaud TIM-BR Mart, a fifth-generation family business in Meteghan Centre, Nova Scotia. He died on January 10, 2012, after a brief battle with lymphoma at the age of 36.

In his too-short career, Marc established himself as a true innovator, mastering online sales, using social media, and pioneering “green” retail practices. His life was active beyond his business, as well. Besides serving as treasurer of the Clare Chamber of Commerce for two years, he was fiercely proud of his Acadian heritage, and was an avid fan of Cape Breton music and step dancing.

“Marc Robichaud was one the most innovative dealers I’ve ever met,” says Tim Urquhart, President and CEO of TIM-BR MARTS Ltd., the buying group of which Marc was a member. His death was felt by dealers and vendors across the country. 
 
A dealer in Canada who has demonstrated imagination, originality, and innovative practices in the operation of their store and the growth of their business will be selected to receive the first-ever Mark Robichaud Award for Retail Innovation. The Award will be presented at the 17th Annual Hardlines Conference, Oct. 25, 2012 at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel.

For more information and details of the award process, contact: Michael McLarney, Editor of HARDLINES, Canada’s information service for the retail home improvement industry; 416-489-3396 or mike@hardlines.ca.

      

 
Dollarama Profit Jumps 32% in Second Quarter  
 
Dollarama Inc. reported on Wednesday a net profit of $49.8 million in its second quarter, up 32% from the comparable period last year, as the Montreal-based discount retailer benefited from higher sales and thicker profit margins.

The profit amounted to $0.66 per diluted share in the 13 weeks ended July 29, up from $37.6 million or $0.50 per share in the comparable period last year.

Dollarama’s revenue was up 13.8%, rising to $441 million from $387.5 million for the corresponding period last year.

Dollarama originally sold products for a dollar each but now offers items of up to $3 — a move that has helped boost its revenue and margins.

The Montreal-based company has also grown by expanding the number of stores in its network, which now total 735 locations across Canada.

Same-store sales grew 7.3% from the second quarter of last year’s fiscal 2012, showing organic growth. The company also increased the number of stores by 55, or 8.1%, over the 12-month period.

Profit margins improved to 36.9% of sales, up from 36.7%.

“We are very pleased with our second quarter financial and operating results,” Larry Rossy, Dollarama’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

“Our strong comparable store sales are a good indicator that our customers appreciate our great merchandise value and our diverse product offerings.”

Source: The Canadian Press       
 


Economic News
 
Toronto Condo Projects Spark Increase in Housing Starts  

Canadian housing starts rose 8.1% unexpectedly in August from July as a few large condo projects in Toronto, presold in late 2010 and early 2011, broke ground, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported on Tuesday.
 
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 224,900 units in August, up from 208,000 units in July.

Analysts were expecting starts to slow to 200,000 units.

But rather than slowing down, the pace in August extended a streak of 200,000-plus units being created to nine months in a row. So far this year housing starts have been about 15% above last year’s levels, led by a surge in multi-unit/condominium construction.

“The increase in housing starts in August was the result of a few, large multi-unit projects in the Greater Toronto area. This increase is primarily a reflection of the high level of pre-sales in some of these large multi-unit projects in late 2010 and early 2011, which is in line with job gains at that time,” said Mathieu Laberge, CMHC’s deputy chief economist. “The higher level of starts recorded in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia in August reflect low levels of activity in July rather than an increasing trend that was registered in August. Overall, moderation in housing starts activity is still expected for the remainder of 2012 and 2013.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 10.2% to 205,900 units in August. Urban single starts remained relatively unchanged in August at 64,300 units, while multiple urban starts increased by 15.5% to 141,600 units.

Urban starts increased by 47.5% in Atlantic Canada, by 20.4% in Ontario, by 18.2% in B.C. and by 1.3% in the Prairies. Urban starts decreased by 9.8% in Quebec.

Within Ontario, multi-unit starts were up 33% year-over-year through August, while construction of single homes was down 1.4%.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 19,000 units in August, down from 21,200 units in July.

Through the first eight months of this year starts have averaged just under 218,000 units, ahead of the approximately 180,000 required by underlying demographic demand, BMO economist Robert Kavcic said in the Globe & Mail. But he suggested that the strong August numbers are a “look in the rear view mirror” because construction tends to lag sales by six to 12 months. The stricter mortgage insurance rules that took effect in July have had a cooling impact on sales, and that will ultimately filter through to a more moderate pace of construction and a gradual softening in housing starts through 2013, he said.

But Jacques Marcil, an economist at TD, suggested that a real slowdown will be dependent on a rise in interest rates.

“While recent changes to mortgage insurance rules will likely limit the growth in demand for new homes, low interest rates remain an incentive for buyers to borrow and keep the housing market overvalued,” Mr. Marcil told the G&M. “In the end, higher interest rates are needed to bring the Canadian housing market back to sustainable expansion pace. TD expects the Bank of Canada to make that move in the spring of 2013.”


 
New Mortgage Rules Will Cool Housing Market 
 
The mortgage insurance rule changes that took effect in July will shave three percentage points off home prices and five percentage points off sales, TD Bank chief economist Craig Alexander said in a report released last week.

The Toronto and Vancouver housing markets have cooled recently in the wake of Ottawa’s latest move to stop a housing bubble, with many first-time buyers being knocked out of the market.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty put the July 9 changes into effect to curb growing mortgage debt levels and take some steam out of house prices. Among other things, the new rules cut the maximum length of insured mortgages to 25 years from 30.

But in the report, TD says interest rate increases are also necessary to really tackle the imbalances that have developed in the Canadian housing market. Absent rate hikes, consumers still have a strong incentive to take out large mortgages, which help to fuel the overvaluation in prices.

Mr. Alexander studied the impact of prior mortgage insurance rule changes to model what the outcome of this latest round of changes might be.

By tempering sales and curbing refinancing activity, TD estimates that tighter mortgage rules have shaved two to three percentage points from household credit growth on average over the past five years. The impact has gone beyond just mortgages to include home equity secured lines of credit and other consumer borrowing.

“Our model suggests that had the government not tightened lending mortgage rules between 2008 and 2011, the Canadian household debt-to-income ratio would have reached 160% this year – the level that households in the U.S. and U.K. reached before sending their economies and housing markets into a tailspin,” Mr. Alexander wrote.

The latest changes by the department of finance, coupled with new guidelines from the country’s banking regulator, should reduce about one percentage point off credit growth, he says.

Meanwhile, in the absence of the changes, home sales would have vaulted to new record highs.

And although the mortgage insurance rule changes have curbed house sales and debt levels somewhat, the impact on prices has been relatively fleeting, Mr. Alexander said. TD Economics pegs the current overvaluation in the market at about 10 to 15%. As long as rates remain at rock-bottom levels, consumers will be tempted to continue taking on debt, and prices will remain elevated.

“At this stage, regulatory tightening has done its part,” Mr. Alexander said. “The next step in tempering domestic imbalances will have to come from the Bank of Canada. Interest rates simply cannot stay at current levels indefinitely.”
“We now expect the Bank of Canada to lift the overnight rate by 50 basis points in 2013 – only half the amount of rate hikes TD was expecting prior to the regulatory tightening, with further modest hikes in 2014.”

A gradual rise in bond yields over the next couple of years should also push mortgage rates higher. Along with the impact of the new rules and interest rate increases, Mr. Alexander expects a gradual housing sales and price correction on the order of 10%. That should allow the debt-to-income ratio to stabilize close to its current level of 152%.

However, the recent mortgage rule changes have sparked some debate in Canada. Some industry players and economists worry that the impact will be so widespread and long-lasting they want the government to consider rolling some of them back. But with prices that some still see as overvalued and new fears over consumer debt, others, like TD, say the changes are not enough and must be followed by a hike in rates.

The impact of the changes is predominately being felt by first-time home buyers because they are typically the ones who require mortgage insurance. Insurance is mandatory in Canada for borrowers who have a down payment of less than 20%, which has traditionally been about 35 to 40% of the market.

Traditionally, the banks have applied mortgage insurance rule changes to all mortgages – even those with large down payments that don’t require insurance. But that hasn’t been the case this time, Mr. Alexander noted.

“The banks are basically not applying the 25-year limit to the non-high-ratio-mortgages. That’s one of the reasons why the mortgage insurance rule changes had a more muted impact on the market, because really the segment that’s being significantly hit is the first-time buyers.”

“These are pretty dramatic changes, and I think they’re getting close to the tipping point,” said Brian Hurley, CEO of mortgage insurer Genworth Canada, in an interview in the Globe & Mail on the subject. “We see really qualified first-time home buyers with very high credit scores now not meeting the bar because they can’t afford a 25-year amortization. These people should be getting a home.”

Also, in the article, Eric Lascelles, RBC Global Asset Management chief economist said he approves of most of the rule changes, but said there is a risk that they are being overdone to compensate for ultra-low mortgage rates.

“I wonder if the drop from 30 to 25 years amortization might be regretted in a decade when interest rates have normalized and 25 year olds are told they cannot make mortgage payments past the age of 50, even though they expect to work until 65,” he added.


 
Building Permits Down 2.3% in July 
 
Statistics Canada said last Friday that municipalities issued building permits worth just over $6.8 billion in July, down 2.3% from June but 4.5% higher than in July 2011. 

The monthly decline was led by lower construction intentions for both residential and non-residential buildings, particularly in Ontario.

In the non-residential sector, the value of permits fell 2.1% to $2.5 billion after a 9.0% decrease in June. Year-over-year, non-residential permits were 8.2% lower in July. Non-residential permits declined in six provinces with Ontario and Saskatchewan accounting for most of the drop. Industrial permits declined 3.7% to $462 million; institutional permits decreased by 25.2% to $404 million; and commercial sector permits grew 6.4% to $1.7 billion.

In the residential sector, the value of permits decreased 2.4% to $4.3 billion in July, following two consecutive monthly advances. Year-over year, residential permits were 13.6% higher. July’s decline was attributable to mainly lower construction intentions in four provinces, led by Ontario, with Saskatchewan a distant second.

The value of permits for multi-family dwellings decreased 4.3% to $1.9 billion from June, following two consecutive monthly increases, but are up 21.8% from June 2011. The monthly drop was mainly due to lower construction intentions in Ontario, followed by Saskatchewan and Alberta. The value of multi-family permits increased in B.C., Nova Scotia and P.E.I.

Municipalities issued $2.5 billion worth of building permits for single-family dwellings in July, a 0.9% decline following two monthly advances, but up 8.1% from July 2011. Most of the declines occurred in B.C., Ontario and Saskatchewan. The value of permits for single-family houses rose in five provinces, including Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec.

Nationally, municipalities authorized construction of 19,139 new dwellings, down from 4.9% from June but 8.3% higher than a year ago. The decrease was attributable to both multi-family dwellings, which fell 6.8% to 11,846 units, and single-family dwellings, which declined 1.6% to 7,293 units.  


 
Latest Jobs Growth Blows Past Expectations but Overall Trend Still Modest  
 
Statistics Canada reported last Friday that Canada’s economy added a surprising 34,300 jobs in August, after a similar decline the previous month, however, most of the gains were in part-time positions. 

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.3%, as more Canadians began looking for work.

Most economists had expected an increase in the range of 10,000 jobs, after a drop of 30,400 positions in July.

Canadian job creation has essentially stalled over the past four months after a strong spring, while the unemployment rate is unchanged from a year ago. And industries that tend to move in sync with economic cycles – construction and manufacturing – shed jobs last month.

“Taken in the context of hiring in the last few months, [Friday’s] employment data is consistent with the trend of economic growth of roughly 2% or so,” said Emanuella Enenajor, an economist at CIBC World Markets. “Although Canada’s hiring data was positive, the lack of momentum in construction activity adds caution to the overall pace of the domestic economy.”

In August, employers shed 12,500 full-time positions and added 46,700 part-time jobs. Overall, the private sector produced the bulk of the jobs gain (+29,900), while the public sector assed 17,400 positions. The number of self-employed Canadians fell by 13,000 during the month.

Most of the gains were in the service sector, where transportation and warehousing added 37,100 positions. The professional, scientific and technical services category saw an increase of 20,000 jobs, while building and other support services added 19,000 and natural resources 8,800 workers. The number of people working in retail and wholesale trade was up marginally from July.

The construction sector took the biggest hit in August, losing 44,000 jobs, and is now down 30,400 jobs over the last 12 months. Manufacturing shed 2,700 jobs in August but is up 24,300 positions from a year ago.

Young people are still struggling in the labour market. Canada’s youth jobless rate jumped to 14.8% in August from 14.3% in July. Employment among 15-24 year olds is down 72,000 from a year ago.

Older workers, meantime, landed jobs last month. The jobless rate for women over the age of 55 tumbled to 5.2% from 6.1%, while it stands at 5.9% for older men.

Among provinces, employment rose in Quebec, B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It declined in Ontario and P.E.I. and was little changed elsewhere. Among cities, Regina has the country’s lowest jobless rate, at 4.2%, and Windsor has the highest, at 9.2%.

On a year-over-year basis, employment is up by 1% or 176,600 jobs, with most of the gains occurring in the spring of this year. Full-time employment is up 172,200 positions while there are 4,300 more part-time jobs. Since August 2011, employment in the goods-producing sector has increased 1.6% (+62,200) and the services-producing sector 0.8% (+114,300). Public sector employment has increased by 1.9% (+67,800), and the number of private sector employees has risen 1% (+110,900), while self-employment is essentially unchanged (-2,100).

“Going forward, business desire to hire will be highly dependent on how the external environment unfolds,” TD Bank economist Francis Fong wrote in a note to clients. “The remainder of the year will likely look much the same from an employment perspective.”

In some other labour market news, the latest Manpower’s employment outlook survey released on Tuesday indicated that fourth quarter hiring expectations among Canadian employers has softened.

Hiring plans for the October-to-December period are weaker than for the prior quarter and down from the same period last year.

Still regional differences exist. Employers in Western Canada are by far the most optimistic, with robust demand for workers in construction and natural resources. Plans are modest in Atlantic Canada, while employers in Ontario grew reluctant to add to payrolls, particularly in manufacturing and construction.

According to the survey of about 1,900 Canadian companies, 16% of respondents plan to increase payrolls in the fourth quarter, while 7% see cutbacks. Three quarters expect to maintain current staffing levels while 2% were unsure of their hiring intentions.

All told, the seasonally-adjusted net hiring outlook for Canada was 10%, the weakest in almost two years.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported last Friday that the U.S. economy created a lower than expected 96,000 net new jobs in August, while the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.1% from 8.3%, but only because more Americans became discouraged and dropped out of the labour force.

U.S. economists had been predicting 125,000 new jobs for August.

Also, the July job increase number (non-farm payrolls) was revised downward from 163,000 to 141,000.

U.S. job creation last month was weak across the board, with manufacturing payrolls down 15,000, the first decline since September of last year.

The U.S. economy created an average of about 73,000 new jobs a month in the second quarter, down from an average of about 226,000 a month in the first quarter. The economy needs to create about 100,000 jobs a month simply to keep up with new entrants to the labour force.   
 

 
Canadian Trade Deficit Rises to Record High in July  
 
Canada posted its largest trade deficit on record in July as crude oil exports tumbled and imports from the U.S. remained near record highs, according to Statistics Canada data released on Tuesday. 

The high dollar and the global slowdown continue to negatively influence Canada’s trade dependent economy.

The overall deficit grew to $2.34 billion from a revised $1.93 billion deficit in June. It was the biggest trade gap by a slim margin over September 2010’s deficit of $2.33 billion.

Virtually all major exports fell sharply, including energy, autos, agriculture, forest products and machinery-and-equipment. The overall drop was 3.4%, led by an even larger 5% decline in exports to the U.S. The largest contributor to the drop in exports was energy, which fell 8.5%, in part due to production disruptions.

Exports of crude petroleum fell 9.6% in July, hurt by a drop in both price and volume. Shipments of machinery and equipment and automotive products dropped by 5.5% and 5.3%, respectively.

Canadian exporters are being hit by the powerful combination of the high dollar and generally lower commodity prices.

And in spite of the strong dollar, which has risen even higher since July, Canadian shoppers and businesses are consuming and importing less. Imports fell 2.2% in July.

The trade surplus with the U.S., by far Canada’s biggest export market, declined to $2.1 billion in July from $3.0 billion in June, the smallest surplus since October 2010.

“This report flashed broad-based weakness,” Bank of Montreal deputy chief economist Douglas Porter said in a research note. “The rapidly widening deficit is a loud warning shot that the currency is already overvalued and an increasing challenge for the economy.”

He estimates that trade will subtract a full percentage point off already weak GDP growth in the third quarter.

The high dollar allows Canadian businesses to buy foreign-made equipment. But with the global economy slowing, businesses are leery of investing. And heavily indebted consumers are increasingly tapped out. 
 


Moody’s Warns on High Canadian Debt Loads        

There is more than a 20% risk of Canada falling into a second recession — and though much of that risk comes from outside our borders, Canadians’ sky high debt loads could push the economy over the edge, warns a new report from Moody’s Analytics.

With debt-to-income ratios at an all-time high around 150%, Canadians have stretched themselves to the limit since the recession and have left little head room to buffer against another economic downturn, Moody’s suggests in the report released last Thursday.

“With the economy now relying heavily on the continued expansion of household spending, any retrenchment in the consumer sector will likely place the economy on the brink of a second recession,” the report’s authors say.

The study — “Storm Clouds Gather Around Canadian Consumer Credit” — says while Canada has managed to outperform other G7 countries since the recession it has been propped up by consumer spending, while exports continue to lag.

“The situation that Canada faces is much riskier than in 2007-2008 when the first global financial crisis occurred,” said Mark Hopkins, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics and one of the authors of the report.

With Canadians so deep in debt, it would be extremely difficult for domestic spending to pick up slack in the economy if things started to go downhill. That could result in a serious downward spiral in employment levels, household spending and the quantity and quality of credit outstanding, the report says.

The situation Canada currently faces is unique, the authors say, because domestic consumption is usually the more steady contributor to economic growth compared with exports and investment. But this time, household debt is out of control.

“Right now it all depends on the household sector and the household sector is overstretched, especially compared to historical trends,” Hopkins says.

Slowing income growth, coupled with a coming rise in interest rates — which Moody’s expects before the end of 2013 — will put more pressure on Canadian households and debt service costs will start to eat up a bigger portion of their take home pay, the report says.

In fact, Canadians, driven by ultra-low borrowing costs, have racked up so much debt since the recession that Canada’s debt-to-income ratio is now higher than what the U.S. faced just prior to its mortgage crisis that sparked the so-called “Great Recession.”

However, recent moves by the government to tighten lending rules, as well as an ingrained culture of conservative lending standards, positions Canada to better withstand a downturn than consumers in the U.S. prior to 2008.

“There certainly are risks though they’re not as catastrophic as they were in the U.S.,” says Cristian de Ritis, a director at Moody’s Analytics who co-authored the report.

Canadians household debt levels continue to reach new highs each quarter, according to Equifax Canada, which provided data for the report.

And while some point out that Canadians’ delinquency and default rates are very low, the Moody’s analysts say this is often the case in a credit boom — the “calm before the storm” — because the availability of cheap credit allows people to keep borrowing and gives more flexibility in paying it back.

The problem is once a crisis hits, which most likely would be caused by external factors, it could be exacerbated because so many Canadians have little wiggle room to borrow and spend. Defaults and delinquencies could rise quickly and leave more households underwater, they say.

Hopkins puts the chances of a second Canadian recession at one-in-five, while de Ritis is slightly gloomier and puts the odds at one-in-four.

At least two recent studies have shown that consumer debt still hasn’t subsided — despite repeated warnings from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney that interest rates will eventually rise, leaving some households hard pressed to meet borrowing obligations.

Last week, a report from TransUnion showed that consumer debt is actually growing, but mostly due to higher auto loans, while debt on cards and lines of credit was flat.

And last month, another consumer credit reporting agency, Equifax Canada reported that consumer indebtedness, excluding mortgage debt, grew 3.1% year-over-year in the second quarter.

Source: The Canadian Press   
  

 Upcoming CHHMA Events 

CHHMA Go Kart Night
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Circuit ICAR Motorsports Complex, Mirabel, Quebec

Industry Memorial Golf Classic
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Blue Springs Golf Club, Acton, Ontario

Industry Cocktail
Thursday, December 13, 2012
“W” Hotel, Montreal, Quebec 

Canada Night
Sunday, March 3, 2013
InterContinental Hotel, Chicago, Illinois

CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
International Centre (Conference Facility), Mississauga, Ontario

CHHMA Maple Leaf Night
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

CHHMA Ontario Golf Tournament
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Angus Glen Golf Club, Markham, Ontario

CHHMA Industry Calendar

To register for all events visit our website at www.chhma.ca or call Pam Winter at (416) 282-0022 ext.21.


CHHMA Links


Freight Logistics Savings
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Discount Cellular
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Long Distance &
Telecommunications Savings



Discount Gas & Diesel Rates


Logo Apparel &
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Office Product Discounts


 

"Eye On Our Industry" is published by the CHHMA as an information resource for our members. Member input regarding content and format is welcomed. Please contact Michael Jorgenson by email: mjorgenson@chhma.ca, or call at (416) 282-0022, ext. 34. CHHMA is located at 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON, M1B 5M4 www.chhma.ca

Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association | 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M4
Telephone: (416) 282-0022   Email: pwinter@chhma.ca