25 Oct

Bank of Canada maintains policy rate

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Posted by: Aneta Zimnicki

Bank of Canada maintains the rate. Subtly acknowledging rate that their rate increases have dampened economic activity. Weaker demand and higher borrowing costs are weighing on business investment.
Inflation has been easing in most economies. Higher interest rates are moderating inflation in many goods that people buy on credit, and this is spreading to services.

However, the labour market remains tight, wage pressures persist. Inflation in rent and other housing costs remains high, in addition to elevated mortgage interest costs. Oil prices are higher than was assumed, and the war in Israel and Gaza is a new source of geopolitical uncertainty.

Overall, a range of indicators suggest that supply and demand are now approaching balance. But, the Bank’s preferred measures of core inflation show little downward momentum. The near-term path is higher because of energy prices and ongoing persistence in core inflation. Today’s estimate for reaching the desired ‘2%’ CPI inflation target is now 2025.

To tame rate cut expectations, the announcement ends with the repeated statement “The Bank is prepared to raise the policy rate further if needed”.

Next BoC meeting in December 6, 2023. US Fed will make their next rate announcement Nov 1, 2023. Both countries are expected to now be in lock step with their decision to pause rates.

So for now, it looks like interest rates will be ‘higher for longer’. Rate cuts would be a drastic move, but there is much global uncertainty.