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The Globe and Mail

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It may be a new year but it is the same story this morning from the Bank of Canada which once again held its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The statement released in support of the interest rate decision noted that the global economic outlook is weaker than the Bank previously projected, though risk of a severe external shock to the economy has diminished. As a result, the slowdown in the Canadian economy in the second half of 2012 was more pronounced than the Bank had anticipated. The Bank has revised its estimate for economic growth in 2012 lower, to 1.9 per cent, and now forecasts 2 per cent growth in 2013 before an acceleration to 2.7 per cent in 2014. Importantly, the Bank has also shifted its expectation that the economy will...

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SOURCED FROM BCREA ECONOMICS NOW Original Link http://listserv.realtorlink.ca/read/archive?id=21287&e=info%40westsiderealty.ca&x=a816a83f

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Decision - April 17, 2012

The Bank of Canada left its overnight rate unchanged at 1 per cent for the 13th consecutive meeting. In the statement accompanying the decision the Bank noted that economic momentum in Canada is slightly firmer than the Bank had forecast in January and that economic headwinds from the US and Europe have abated somewhat. However, the Bank still judges the continued accumulation of debt by Canadian households to be the biggest domestic risk facing the economy. The Bank further noted that the degree of economic slack has been smaller than anticipated in January and that the economy is now expected to return to full capacity in the first half of 2013. Given a more rapid return to full capacity, we may see rate increases sooner than the mid-2013 date that most economists have penciled in. Indeed, the Bank sounded a more hawkish note in concluding their statement on the interest rate decision, citing that a modest withdrawal of monetary stimulus may become appropriate given firmer underlying inflation. However, the Bank was careful to condition that any withdrawal of stimulus would need to be balanced against domestic and global economic developments. 

Our bias, and our modeling, still point to rates remaining at 1 per cent until the first quarter of 2013. However expectations of an increasingly hawkish Bank of Canada may start to get priced into long-term interest rates which could push mortgage rates higher in coming months.

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Cameron Muir Brendon Ogmundson
Chief Economist Economist
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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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