Five Canadian business stories to watch this week

A handful of corporate earning reports, the release of new household debt data and an interest rate decision south of the border are among the events expected to make headlines in the days ahead

Corporate ledger: Just a smattering of earnings this week. Some notables include Quebecor, HNZ Group and Spin Master.

U.S. interest rate decision: The U.S. Federal Reserve will release its latest interest rate decision on Wednesday after a two-day meeting. Expectations are it will hike the rate, which is at a range of 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent.

Housing and debt: These days, they go together like love and marriage. On Wednesday, the Canadian Real Estate Association comes out with the home sales figures for February while Statistics Canada will release the latest data on household debt, which at last check was at a record high.

Alberta budget: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci will present the spring budget Thursday. The province has been slowly recovering from the crash in oil prices, but it's still far from the days of "Ralph bucks." Just last month, Alberta's deficit was pegged at $10.8 billion.

Raising the roof – on costs: Canadians in need of mortgage loan insurance will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets as of Friday. The country's federal housing agency is hiking mortgage insurance premiums. For someone who has forked down a 15 per cent down payment on a $450,000 loan, it will mean $6,347 in extra costs over the life of a typical 25-year amortization period, according to RateSpy.com.