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

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

No COVID-19 public exposures in the North Health Region at this time

Northern Health Authority issued a statement on Sept. 17

Tax penalties of 10 per cent to be applied by City if not paid on time

Prince Rupert Property taxes for certain non-residential properties are due by Sept. 30

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Northwest firefighters headed to Oregon to battle wildfires

Over 200 B.C. firefighting personnel will assist in the U.S.

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read