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

‘Snowmaggedon 2020’ has passed, but 20-30 milimetres of rain expected Friday

Residents should brace for rain and clear drains to prevent localized flooding

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

Exploring life, the afterlife, and near death experiences with Dr. Lynn Echevarria

Echevarria will deliver a talk to the LRCA Seniors Centre Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm

Winter storm warning now in effect for Island’s east coast

Environment Canada issues new weather warning late Wednesday afternoon

Town of Ladysmith snow removal crews prepared to respond to overnight snowfall

10 to 15 centimetres of snow are expected for Ladysmith overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

B.C. offers $5 million equipment loan program to help ailing forest contractors

Local politicians in Port McNeill and Campbell River says local economies are struggling

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read