BoC Leaves Rates Unchanged, Downgrades Growth Outlook
The Bank of Canada (BoC) kept its target for the overnight rate unchanged at
0.5%. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 0.75% and the deposit rate is
“Prices of oil and other commodities are off their earlier lows and slightly above levels assumed by the Bank in January, but remain well below historical averages,” said the BoC in a statement. “Nonetheless, the Bank expects deeper cuts to investment in Canada’s energy sector than were forecast in January. Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar has firmed, reflecting shifting expectations for monetary policy in Canada and the United States, as well as recent increases in commodity prices.”
The BoC downgraded the growth outlook in the light of combined effect of all of global and domestic developments. “However, the fiscal measures announced in the March federal budget will have a notable positive impact on GDP.” The Bank now projects real GDP growth of 1.7% in 2016, 2.3% in 2017 and 2.0 % in 2018.
The BoC said inflation in Canada continues to track largely as anticipated and the risks to the profile for inflation are “roughly balanced.”