Bank of Canada expected to keep rates at record low

Paul Vieira, Financial Post  Published: Tuesday, September 08, 2009

OTTAWA -- Analysts appear to be unanimous in believing the Bank of Canada will hold its record-low policy rate steady at its meeting Thursday, and maintain its commitment to keep the rate at 0.25% until June 2010.

The only item to look for in the pending rate statement, they indicate, is any change in nuance or tone, and possibly further concern about the rise of the Canadian dollar.

"The fact that the major economic data has largely evolved in line with the Bank of Canada's forecasts suggests (the central bank) is likely to reiterate its conditional statement to keep the overnight rate at 0.25% until the end of the second quarter of 2010," said Charmaine Buskas, senior economics strategist with TD Securities.

"And with no expected change to the overnight rate, all the focus will be on the nuances in the statement. It is likely to be very similar to the July 21 statement."

For the record, 21 economists in a Bloomberg News survey anticipate no change in the Bank of Canada rate, nor do the 11 members of the C.D. Howe Institute's monetary policy council.

The C.D. Howe said the Bank of Canada should stick to its mid-2010 commitment, adding that growth prospects remain uncertain as council members questioned how sustainable Canadian exports growth abroad will be, with "the dependence of U.S. and Chinese growth on government stimulus being a particular point of concern."

CMHC expects housing market to rebound strongly this year and next

Financial Post  Published: Friday, September 04, 2009

Canada's housing market will rebound strongly in the second half of this year and into 2010, the federal housing agency said yesterday. Housing starts will reach 141,900 this year and increase to 150,300 for 2010, said Canada 

Mortgage and Housing Corp. "Improving activity on the resale market and lower inventory levels in both the new and existing home markets are expected to prompt builders to increase residential construction," CMHC said. 

Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist, said, "Economic uncertainty and lower levels of employment tempered new housing construction in the first half of this year. In the second half of 2009 and in 2010, we expect housing markets across Canada to strengthen."

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