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Bank of Canada shocks markets with cut in key interest rate

Central bank sees 2015 economic growth of 2.1%, down from earlier forecast of 2.4%

CBC News

The Bank of Canada surprised markets today by cutting its key overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point, citing the economic threat posed by plunging oil prices.

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will hold a news conference at 11:15 a.m. ET Wednesday from Ottawa to comment on the bank’s rate cut as well as the lowered growth outlook. CBC is livestreaming his remarks.

The overnight rate, which moves down to 0.75%, had been at 1% since September 2010.

Virtually no economists had been predicting a rate cut.

Comment: Nope. So there goes the whole “watch out for rising mortgage rates” argument.

“The large decline in oil prices will weigh significantly on the Canadian economy,” the Bank of Canada said in its quarterly monetary policy report.

“Given the speed and magnitude of the oil-price decline, there is substantial uncertainty around the likely level for oil prices and their impact on the economic outlook for Canada.”

Oil prices have plunged to less than $50 US a barrel from more than $100 US in June last year.

In the wake of the rate cut, the Loonie plunged more than 1.20 cents to 81.39 cents US — its lowest level since late April 2009.

Lowered outlook

The central bank also scaled back its forecast for the country’s economic growth this year. It now sees 2015 growth of 2.1%, down from 2.4%.

“The negative impact of lower oil prices will gradually be mitigated by a stronger U.S. economy, a weaker Canadian dollar and the Bank [of Canada’s] monetary policy response,” it said.

The central bank said it expects the country’s economy to gradually strengthen in the second half of this year. It says real GDP growth will average 2.1% in 2015 and 2.4% in 2016.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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Summary
Article Name
Bank of Canada shocks markets with cut in key interest rate
Description
The Bank of Canada surprised markets today by cutting its key overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point, citing the economic threat posed by plunging oil prices.