Bank of Canada holds interest rate: Official statement

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The Bank of Canada, a close-up detail, is seen in Ottawa on May 30, 2018.

The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1.75 per cent.

One of the reasons why we think the BOC will hold rates unchanged today is because inflation in Canada has fallen noticeably in recent months.

The Bank of Canada noted that household consumption and housing investment "have been weaker than expected" anyway, as Canadians struggle to adjust to the impact of tougher regulations weighing on the housing market, as well as the central bank's gradual increase of interest rates over the past 18 months as the economy has approached full capacity. "The bank has over-tightened as it is", Rosenberg said Wednesday on BNN Bloomberg, adding he believes the hiking cycle has come to an end and it wouldn't surprise him if the next move was a cut.

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"The roller coaster ride of the past few months has brought a note of greater caution to the Bank of Canada's communications, and today's decision looks to be an extension of that", DePratto wrote in a research note to clients.

Even so, the currency could remain supported if the Bank turns out to be hawkish about the prospects of future rate increases.

"The global economic expansion continues to moderate, with growth forecast to slow to 3.4 per cent in 2019 from 3.7 per cent in 2018", the bank said in a press release. -Chinese trade war was hitting global demand and commodity prices but adopted a positive long-term outlook.

These worries have also caused volatility in bond and stock markets.

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The drop in global oil prices has a material impact on the Canadian outlook, resulting in lower terms of trade and national income.

Nevertheless, the Canadian economy that has been performing well overall, the bank said. In 2015 and 2016, as the Bank of Canada cut already low interest rates twice to support the economy in the face of the severe oil market collapse of that time, households accounted for essentially all of the country's GDP growth.

The bank is now projecting growth to be just 1.7 per cent this year, down from its October forecast of 2.1 per cent - but looking ahead it anticipates fresh momentum starting in the second quarter of 2019 and strong numbers in 2020. CPI inflation is projected to edge further down and be below 2 per cent through much of 2019, owing mainly to lower gasoline prices. This means that as near-term shocks fade, the Canadian economy should get back on track, with some modest inflationary pressures to match. The Bank of Canada has estimated it will no longer need to hike the rate once it reaches a "neutral" level of between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent - a destination range Poloz said is under review and could be updated in April.

The central bank says the timing of its next hike will depend on several factors - with a particular focus on developments in the oil markets, the Canadian housing sector and global trade policy.

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