The Bank of Canada maintained its overnight rate at 5 per cent this morning. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that economic growth is slow, wage pressures are easing, and the economy overall appears to be in a state of modest excess supply. On inflation, the Bank cited that shelter costs remain the largest contributor to inflation and that it expects headline CPI inflation to remain close to 3 per cent in the first half of this year before gradually falling back to its 2 per cent target. This morning's decision was much more about what the Bank is signaling for future meetings than the decision itself.

All attention will now shift to April 10th, the Bank's next meeting and the first in which a rate cut is a real possibility. Although the economy flirted with recession in 2023, it has so far managed to avoid a lengthy contraction in output. However, economic growth does appear rather anemic and given substantial progress on bringing inflation toward 2 per cent, it is clearly time for the Bank of Canada to begin easing policy. We expect that the Bank will eventually lower its overight rate by 100 basis points this year, with the first rate cut happening in April or June. Source - BCREA

Posted by Adam Chahl on
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