In July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government sent enhanced payments worth hundreds of dollars to more than 3 million households. The Finance Department says the Canada Child Benefit will result in increased monthly incomes for nine of 10 families that previously received federal contributions. Recipients will collect an average increase of $2,300 in the 2016-17 benefit year, according to Finance.
Trudeau never really talked about his overhaul of the family benefit program as economic stimulus, but that didn’t stop others from anticipating a jolt in household spending. “The rollout of the Canada Child Benefit is anticipated to start providing additional support to household spending in the second half of 2016,” the Bank of Canada wrote in its latest quarterly report on the economy. There now is enough data available to make an early assessment of those hopes. Anyone who thought heavily indebted households would take the money and run to their nearest malls will be disappointed.
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