Bank of Canada will maintain the current level of interest rate, further signifying the need for economic stimulus
The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of ¼ percent, with the Bank Rate at ½ percent and the deposit rate at ¼ percent. The Governing Council judges that, with these combined adjustments, the QE program is providing at least as much monetary stimulus as before.
The global and Canadian economic outlooks have evolved largely as anticipated in the July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), with rapid expansions as economies reopened giving way to slower growth, despite considerable remaining excess capacity. Overall, global GDP is projected to contract by about 4 percent in 2020 before growing by just over 4 ½ percent, on average, in 2021–22.
Oil prices remain about 30 percent below pre-pandemic levels. Recognizing these challenges, governments have extended and modified business and income support programs.
After a decline of about 5 ½ percent in 2020, the Bank expects Canada’s economy to grow by almost 4 percent on average in 2021 and 2022. Considering the likely long-lasting effects of the pandemic, the Bank has revised down its estimate of Canada’s potential growth over the projection horizon.
CPI inflation was at 0.5 percent in September and is expected to stay below the Bank’s target band of 1 to 3 percent until early 2021, largely due to low energy prices. The Governing Council will hold the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2 percent inflation target is sustainably achieved.