Bank Of Canada Maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent

Ottawa -

Jeremy Harris, Assistant Director - Media Relations at The Bank of Canada released a press release on October 25, that The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent.

The Bank of Canada has announced that due to global economy slowdown, and the increase of financial market volatility and other factors has declined business and consumer confidence which is expected to restrain growth across the advanced economies. The Bank now expects that the euro area will experience a brief recession.The Bank’s base-case scenario assumes that the euro-area crisis will be contained, although this assumption is clearly subject to downside risks. In the United States, diminished household confidence, tighter financial conditions and increased fiscal drag are expected to result in weak real GDP growth through the first half of 2012, before growth strengthens gradually thereafter.

Overall, the Bank expects that growth in Canada will be slow through mid-2012 before picking up as the global economic environment improves, uncertainty dissipates and confidence increases. The Bank projects that the economy will expand by 2.1 per cent in 2011, 1.9 per cent in 2012, and 2.9 per cent in 2013.

The weaker economic outlook implies greater and more persistent economic slack than previously anticipated, with the Canadian economy now expected to return to full capacity by the end of 2013. As a result, core inflation is expected to be slightly softer than previously expected, declining through 2012 before returning to 2 percent by the end of 2013. The projection for total CPI inflation has also been revised down, reflecting the recent reversal of earlier sharp increases in world energy prices as well as modestly weaker core inflation. Total CPI inflation is expected to trough around 1 per cent by the middle of 2012 before rising with core inflation to the two per cent target by the end of 2013, as excess supply in the economy is slowly absorbed.

Several significant upside and downside risks are present in the inflation outlook for Canada. Overall, the Bank judges that these risks are roughly balanced over the projection horizon.

Reflecting all of these factors, the Bank has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. With the target interest rate near historic lows and the financial system functioning well, there is considerable monetary policy stimulus in Canada. The Bank will continue to monitor carefully economic and financial developments in the Canadian and global economies, together with the evolution of risks, and set monetary policy consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target over the medium term.


Samar Manuel

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