The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent.
Global economic growth is evolving essentially as the Bank had anticipated in its October Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The US economy continues to grow at a solid pace, although private domestic demand has proven slightly less robust than expected. Meanwhile, commodity prices have declined further. The ongoing terms-of-trade adjustments and shifting growth prospects across different regions are contributing to exchange rate movements. In this context, policy divergence is expected to remain a prominent theme.
In Canada, the dynamics of growth have been broadly in line with the Bank’s MPR outlook. The economy continues to undergo a complex and lengthy adjustment to the decline in Canada’s terms of trade. This adjustment is being aided by the ongoing US recovery, a lower Canadian dollar and the Bank’s monetary policy easing this year. The resource sector is still contending with lower prices for commodities. In non-resource sectors, exports are picking up, particularly in exchange rate-sensitive categories. However, business investment continues to be weighed down by cuts in resource-sector spending. The labour market has been resilient at the national level, although with significant job losses in resource-producing regions. The Bank expects GDP growth to moderate in the fourth quarter of 2015 before moving to a rate above potential in 2016. While bond yields are slightly higher, financial conditions remain accommodative in Canada.