Canada: Bank of Canada raises rates

5 min
Dan North
Dan North Senior Economist for North America

The Bank of Canada (BoC) raised its overnight rate from 1.25% to 1.5%, the fourth hike in 12 months. The accompanying statement was more hawkish in tone: “Governing Council expects that higher interest rates will be warranted to keep inflation near target… economy continues to operate close to its capacity… CPI inflation is expected to edge up...” The BoC also upgraded its GDP and inflation forecasts. And like the Fed, the BoC noted trade worries: “The possibility of more trade protectionism is the most important threat to global prospects…” In addition, the hike may hurt the housing market. Government measures have cooled prices and sales, but perhaps too rapidly. Toronto prices have fallen -2.8% y/y. Sales nationwide have also fallen -15% y/y to the lowest level in five years. But the BoC’s rate hikes have also driven mortgage rates up. The Bank is likely to hike one or two more times this year, putting additional pressure on the housing market.