The Bank of Canada announced today that it is keeping its key rate unchanged. The Bank noted that while a slowing economy was anticipated in late 2018 and early 2019, the slowdown was in fact "sharper and more broadly based" than expected. While there was growth in employment and labour income, consumer spending, the housing market, exports and business investment all fell short of expectations. As a result, the Bank is now pointing to increased uncertainty about the timing of future rate hikes. The next rate-setting day is Wednesday, April 24th.
Today’s Bank of Canada rate hold announcement marks almost four straight years that the key benchmark rate has remained unchanged, since September 8, 2010. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or home equity line of credit; the prime rate stays at 3%.
The announcement noted that “the risks to the outlook for inflation remain roughly balanced, while the risks associated with household imbalances have not diminished.” With these considerations, the Bank is maintaining its monetary policy stimulus, and remains neutral with respect to the timing and direction of the next change.
The next rate-setting day is October 22nd.