Bank of Canada Holds Interest Rates Steady
The Bank of Canada announced on April 16th, 2014 that it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 1 per cent, where it has been parked since September 2010. The Bank also published its latest quarterly Monetary Policy Report and updated its economic growth and inflation forecasts.
The Bank’s global economic growth outlook remains upbeat despite softer readings in recent months that it attributes to “unusual weather” in the United States earlier in 2014. The Bank still expects that investment and exports will outshine consumer spending as the main driver of Canadian economic growth as the United States economic recovery gains momentum.
While the Bank raised its inflation forecast, it expects the increase to be temporary and made it clear that it would not react by raising rates sooner than previously anticipated.
The Bank identified a weaker than expected upturn in exports as being the most significant domestic risk to its inflation outlook. It also repeated its concerns about Canadian household indebtedness while indicating that a soft landing in the Canadian housing market and a stabilization of debt-to-income ratios continue to unfold in line with its expectations.
On balance, the Bank is of the view that interest rates should remain where they are and it will continue to monitor economic and inflation data closely to determine the direction of future policies. Canadian private sector forecasters widely believe that the Bank of Canada will not begin raising the overnight lending rate until well into 2015.
As of April 16th, 2014, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.99 per cent, down from 5.24 per cent at the previous Bank rate announcement on March 5th, 2014.
The next interest rate announcement will be on June 4th, 2014. The next update to the Monetary Policy Report will be on July 16th, 2014.