The Bank of Canada announced this morning that it is holding the target for its overnight rate at 0.5 per cent. In the press release accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that inflation is broadly in line with the Bank’s projection, though intense retail competition is pushing inflation temporarily lower. The Bank also noted that the tightening of mortgage regulations implemented in the Fall of 2016 have yet to have a substantial cooling effect on markets but it does expect those measures will contribute to a more sustainable debt profile for Canadian households.
Although the Canadian economy has expanded well above the Bank’s estimate of potential growth for three consecutive quarters, including a first quarter that is tracking at close to 4.5 per cent growth in real GDP, the Bank is not optimistic that the economy will sustain that level of growth for much longer. Moreover, despite faster growth, a significant amount of slack remains in the economy and there is therefore very little pressure on inflation. Without a signal that inflation is going to push higher, the Bank will remain sidelined at least until early 2018 when it expects remaining slack in the economy will be eliminated.
Copyright BCREA – reprinted with permission