BoC Governor Stephen Poloz said in a speech overnight that seeing some good pickups in wages in the last 6-8 months, the Canadian economy is in a “phase we call the sweet spot”. And, the policymakers are becoming “more confident” that less monetary stimulus is needed. There is a concern that interest rates are “really low” comparing to anything that can be described as neutral. Interest rates are “headed” higher and the question is just when.
Poloz cited some factors restraining growth, including uncertainty about US trade policies, renegotiation of NAFTA and new mortgage rules. But he noted that “those forces will not last forever”. And, “as they fade, the need for continued monetary stimulus will also diminish and interest rates will naturally move higher.”
But for now, Poloz indicated that the timing of the move will be guided by incoming data. And, it’s too soon to judge the impact of the prior rate hikes on the economy yet.