A pedestrian walks past The Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

A pedestrian walks past The Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold

Today’s announcement points to a recovery some time in the second half of 2022

The Bank of Canada is keeping its key interest rate target on hold at 0.25 per cent.

The rate has been on hold at its rock-bottom level since the onset of the pandemic last year and the central bank has said it won’t increase the rate until the economy has recovered.

Today’s announcement points to a recovery some time in the second half of 2022.

First quarter growth figures for the Canadian economy came in below the central bank’s forecast, but today’s announcement brushes off the shortfall.

The statement says stronger-than-expected household spending and more imports over the first three months of the year point to rising consumer confidence and resilient demand.

The statement adds that renewed lockdowns during the third wave of the pandemic dampened economic activity in the second quarter, as anticipated, affecting workers in high-contact industries like restaurants.

The bank says it expects the Canadian economy to rebound strongly starting this summer, led by consumer spending, as vaccinations proceed at a faster pace and provincial governments ease economic restrictions.

Housing market activity also gets a nod in the rate announcement, with the bank’s governing council forecasting activity to moderate, but remain elevated over the coming months.

The bank also says it expects annual inflation figures to hover around three per cent over the summer because of higher gas prices and comparing prices now to the low levels they were at last year because of the pandemic.

Inflation should then ease later this year, the bank says, but warns that the path of the pandemic and the evolution of new variants still pose a risk to the inflation outlook.

The bank also says it will stay the course on its federal bond purchases for now, after tapering purchases just a few weeks ago citing improving economic conditions.

The purchases help drive down rates charged on mortgages and business loans.

CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes writes the bank chose not to make any waves of its own in financial markets with the third wave of the virus still winding down across the country.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Banking

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for the Cariboo north including Quesnel. (Black Press file image)
Environment Canada issues thunderstorm watch for Quesnel

A chance of thundershowers is forcasted to last until Tuesday

The Gold Pan Grannies attended the Quesnel Farmers’ Market where they sold perennials and vegetable plants and fruit trees by donation Saturday, May 29. They were able to raise $1,000 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Gold Pan Grannies raise $1,000 for Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign

Annual plant sale at Quesnel Farmers’ Market a success

Amy Vardy is one of four dancers to compete in their final year of the Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts. (Submitted Photo)
Quesnel Festival of the Arts graduating dancer profile: Amy Vardy

The Quesnel Festival of the Performing arts is honouring their graduating dancers

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Predictions of climate variability and effects on agriculture

Oliver Rujanschi, we will miss you and the warmth that you were. Sorry friend

Emily Nelson is one of four graduating dancers honoured by the Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts.(Submitted Photo - Robyn Louise Photography)
Quesnel Festival of the Arts graduating dancer profile: Emily Nelson

The Festival of the Arts is honouring graduating dancers

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Most Read