A woman walks past the Bank of Canada Wednesday September 6, 2017 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 1.75 per cent

The Bank of Canada said there is early evidence that the global economy is stabilizing

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.

The central bank’s overnight rate target has been set at 1.75 per cent since October of last 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.

“Financial markets have been supported by central bank actions and waning recession concerns, while being buffeted by news on the trade front,” the bank said.

“Indeed, ongoing trade conflicts and related uncertainty are still weighing on global economic activity, and remain the biggest source of risk to the outlook.”

Stock markets tumbled Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had “no deadline” to end a 16-month trade war with China that has hurt the global economy and downplayed the likelihood of reaching a deal before the U.S. elections next year.

New U.S. tariffs are set to kick in on many Chinese-made items, including smartphones and toys, on Dec. 15 in addition to taxes already being imposed on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods imported by the U.S.

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

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. Consumer spending and housing helped support growth in the quarter, however the central bank also noted that investment spending came in stronger than expected.

Statistics Canada reported last week that growth in the third quarter came as business investment rose 2.6 per cent, its fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2017.

“The bank will be assessing the extent to which this points to renewed momentum in investment,” the Bank of Canada said.

“Future interest rate decisions will be guided by the bank’s continuing assessment of the adverse impact of trade conflicts against the sources of resilience in the Canadian economy — notably consumer spending and housing activity.”

Changes in the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate target affect the prime rates at the big banks and in turn the rates Canadians pay for variable-rate mortgages and other floating-rate loans.

The Bank of Canada’s next interest rate decision is set for Jan. 22, when it will also update its outlook for the economy and inflation as part of its quarterly monetary policy report.

ALSO READ: Former Bank of Canada governor to serve as UN special envoy on ‘climate action’

READ MORE: Bank of Canada holds interest rate, warns economy’s resilience to be ‘tested’

Craig Wong, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Loss of UVic dog park deals a blow to socially anxious pets

Owners of non-socialized dogs seek safe space following closure of Cedar Hill Corner

Camp fun still offered in Greater Victoria

Easter Seals offers day camp options to replace cancelled overnight camps

Public to weigh in on Colwood Royal Bay development Monday

Application to rezone lands north of Latoria Boulevard submitted to council

Residents around Sidney’s Reay Creek Pond welcome federal remediation efforts

It is not clear yet whether Sidney will renovate nearby dam at the same time

Swim advisory issued at Cadboro Bay beach due to high bacteria levels

Island Health advises against water activities, swimming

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read