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2180 Steeles Avenue West,
Suite 204, Concord,
ON, L4K 2Z5

Phone:     905-761-7001
Toll Free: 1855-761-7001
Fax:          905-761-7005

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5 December 2018

Bank of Canada decides not to raise its key rate this time

Today, the central bank kept its key lending rate unchanged at 1.75%, still assessing the influence of its previous policy changes and a sharp prices decline for oil.

Last time, the Bank of Canada raised the rate in October, marking the fifth hike since the summer of 2017.

The BoC’s rate affects the rates that Canadian consumers receive from commercial banks. So when the Bank raises its rate, the borrowing costs also go up. Meanwhile, it’s good news for saving accounts holders.

All economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted no changes this time. However, specialists were listening closely to what the Bank would say about the drop in oil prices.

The cost of the Western Canadian Select oil was down to $14 US per barrel since the BoC’s last meeting, while the U.S. blends never went down below $50.

In case the trend continues, the influence on the national economy could lead to another change in monetary policy.

The Alberta government decided to cut the production levels for supporting the prices, and the Bank pointed to it today.

The next rate meeting will be in 2019 already, and according to overnight index swaps, there's a one in two chance of a rate increase. Nevertheless, Bank of Montreal economist Benjamin Reitzes believes it’s not a sure thing yet.

Toronto-Dominion Bank analyst Brian DePratto agrees, saying it could take some time now.

"Now, we don’t expect a rate hike in January”, - he noted. “A more possible variant is spring, so that the BoC could ensure that the growth is back on the path."

In addition to it, currency investors also lower their predictions of more increases in the nearest future. Loonie went down by more than half a cent after the Bank’s announcement, falling below the 75 cent US level and marking its lowest level since May 2017.

In case nothing changes, a rate hike could push the national currency up, as thus assets denominated in Canadian currency would be more valuable.

 

 

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