Bank of Canada holds interest rates steady

04 Décembre, 2019, 22:40 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz

The central bank's overnight rate target has been set at 1.75 per cent since October of past year.

In its rate announcement, the Bank of Canada said there is early evidence that the global economy is stabilizing and growth is still expected to edge higher over the next couple of years.

The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate on hold where it has been for more than a year as it said Wednesday that ongoing trade conflicts and related uncertainty continue to weigh on the global economy.

A resilient Canadian economy has allowed the Bank of Canada to keep interest rates on hold even as many of its worldwide peers have moved to ease monetary policy amid concerns about the global economy.

The Canadian dollar extended gains on the statement, up 0.4% to C$1.324 per USA dollar at 10:04 Toronto time.

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Canadian government bond prices were higher across a flatter yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries.

Analysts characterized the statement as less dovish than the previous statement in October, when the central bank highlighted global risks and Poloz acknowledged the central bank had considered the merits of an insurance cut. While there was no reference to that in Wednesday's statement, Deputy Governor Tim Lane will provide more insight into the deliberations in a speech Thursday. Financial markets have been supported by central bank actions and waning recession concerns, while being buffeted by news on the trade front. In this context, commodity prices and the Canadian dollar have remained relatively stable.

Economic growth in Canada slowed in the third quarter to an annual pace of 1.3 per cent, in line with the Bank of Canada's forecast in October.

The Bank of Canada reiterated that the recent record of core inflation around 2% is consistent with an economy operating near capacity. Policy makers, who had expected a decline in capital spending in the second half, said they will assess the extent to which the pickup "points to renewed momentum" in investment.

One thing constraining the central bank is debt. Credit growth and real estate activity are re-accelerating in the second half of this year, propelled in part by lower interest rates imported from overseas, and any additional stimulus by the Bank of Canada could fuel risks. The Bank continues to monitor the evolution of financial vulnerabilities related to the household sector.

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