Bank of Canada holds key interest rate at 4.5 per cent

  3/8/2023 |   SHARE
Posted in Canadian Economy and Interest Rates by Anthony (Tony) Barone | Back to Main Blog Page

Bank Of Canada

The Bank of Canada maintained its policy rate at 4.5 per cent, following eight consecutive rate hikes since March. The pause was signalled by the central bank in January, in order to assess the full impacts its monetary policy is having on the Canadian economy.

Growth in the Canadian economy stalled last quarter, with restrictive monetary policy weighing on household spending and business investment.

The current inflation rate sits at 5.9 per cent, reflecting a decrease in prices for energy, durable goods and some services. Despite this, food and shelter costs remain elevated, with food inflation at 10.4 per cent.

The central bank remains confident in its projection that inflation will come down in 2023. 

“Overall, the latest data remains in line with the Bank’s expectation that CPI inflation will come down to around 3 per cent in the middle of this year,” the bank said in a news release on Wednesday.  

The Canadian labour market remains tight, with 150,000 new jobs added in January and unemployment remaining at a historic low of 5 per cent. Wages continue to increase by 4 to 5 per cent, however the central bank expects these pressures in the labour market to ease with weak economic growth in next few quarters. 

“This should moderate wage growth and also increase competitive pressures, making it more difficult for businesses to pass on higher costs to consumers,” the bank said.

Despite the pause, the central bank has not ruled out the need to increase its overnight rate again, if economic circumstances change. Global factors, such as the war in Ukraine and the strength of China’s economic recovery, continue to be sources of uncertainty for the inflation outlook.

“Governing Council will continue to assess the economic developments and the impact of past interest rate increases, and is prepared to increase the policy rate further if needed to return inflation to the 2% target,” the bank said.

The next policy rate announcement is expected on April 12, 2023.

Source: CTV News

Bank of Canada, Bank of Canada Benchmark Rate

Ask Anthony (Tony) Barone

Thinking of buying or selling a property, or have a question regarding the real estate market? Fill out the form below and I'll get back to you promptly.