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Bank of Canada Interest Rate Decision - July 17, 2013

New Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz stuck to the status quo this morning in his first interest rate decision, leaving the Bank's overnight target rate at 1 per cent. The Bank expects growth in the Canadian economy to be "choppy" in the near term owing to unusual temporary factors such as flooding in Alberta, but overall its outlook for economic growth remains largely unchanged from April's projection of 1.8 per cent real GDP growth in 2013 and 2.7 per cent growth next year. The Bank expects inflation to remain subdued in the near term due to persistent excess capacity in the Canadian economy, but still expects inflation will return to its 2 per cent target in mid-2015 as previously forecast. Notably, the Bank's previous recurring statement regarding withdrawal of monetary stimulus has been altered and perhaps softened to "Over time, as the normalization of these [economic] conditions unfolds, a gradual normalization of policy interest rates can be expected."

All in all, not much has changed since the previous Bank of Canada announcement in May. Economic growth, though still not robust, has been marginally better than expected. Inflation continues to trend below 2 per cent and the labour market is adding jobs at a modest pace. Canadian household are still carrying too much debt, but are adding to that debt at a slower rate. Long-term interest rates have risen substantially in recent months, which may have some negative impact on growth, but remain very low in historical terms. Therefore, we continue to forecast no change in the Bank of Canada's target rate until next year.
For more information, please contact: 

Cameron Muir Brendon Ogmundson
Chief Economist Economist
Direct: 604.742.2780 Direct: 604.742.2796
Mobile: 778.229.1884 Mobile: 604.505.6793
Email: cmuir@bcrea.bc.ca Email: bogmundson@bcrea.bc.ca
BCREA represents 11 member real estate boards and their approximately 18,000 REALTORS® on all provincial issues, providing an extensive communications network, standard forms, economic research and analysis, government relations, applied practice courses and continuing professional education (cpe).

Real estate boards, real estate associations and REALTORS® may reprint this content, provided that credit is given to BCREA by including the following statement: “Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.” BCREA makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.

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