As widely expected, BoC kept overnight rate unchanged at 4.50%, with Bank Rate and deposit rate held at 4.75% and 4.50% respectively. In the statement, the BoC mentioned that the “Governing Council continues to assess whether monetary policy is sufficiently restrictive to relieve price pressures and remains prepared to raise the policy rate further if needed.”
The central bank projects weak GDP growth through the remainder of this year, with a gradual strengthening next year. BoC now expects Canada’s economy to grow by 1.4% this year and 1.3% in 2024 before picking up to 2.5% in 2025.
The bank anticipates CPI inflation to fall quickly to around 3% in the middle of this year and then decline more gradually to the 2% target by the end of 2024. “Recent data is reinforcing Governing Council’s confidence that inflation will continue to decline in the next few months,” the statement noted.
However, BoC also highlighted that returning inflation to 2% “could prove to be more difficult”, as inflation expectations are coming down slowly, service price inflation and wage growth remain elevated, and corporate pricing behavior has yet to normalize.