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Bank of Canada raises key rate 50bps, leaves future rate path open

Bank of Canada raises key rate 50bps, leaves future rate path open By

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Economy 20 minutes ago (Dec 07, 2022 15:38)

© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith — The Bank of Canada raised its key overnight rate by 50 basis points to 4.25% but opened the door to a pause in further tightening amid clear signs of an economic slowdown across North America. 

“Looking ahead, Governing Council will be considering whether the policy interest rate needs to rise further to bring supply and demand back into balance and return inflation to target,” the central bank said after taking its suite of official rates to their highest since the start of 2008. 

The Canadian dollar fell around half a cent against its U.S. counterpart in reaction to the news before paring losses somewhat to trade at C$1.3613 by 10:15 ET (15:15 GMT). 

The Bank noted that the Canadian economy continued to experience excess demand in the third quarter, leaving the labor market tight and unemployment near historic lows. However, it expects a clearer slowdown in the final quarter, saying that recent data have supported its core assumption that growth will “essentially stall through the end of this year and the first half of next year.”

Inflation remained well above the BoC’s target in October at 6.9%, with core inflation running at around 5% on the year.

The Bank acknowledged that near-term momentum of prices suggested that inflationary pressure may be easing.

“However, inflation is still too high and short-term inflation expectations remain elevated. The longer that consumers and businesses expect inflation to be above the target, the greater the risk that elevated inflation becomes entrenched,” the Bank said in its statement. 

The BoC is the third among the world’s big central banks to raise interest rates this week, keeping intact a pattern of global monetary tightening. On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia raised its key rates by 25 basis points each, while the Reserve Bank of India hiked its key interest rate by 35 basis points earlier on Wednesday to 6.25%, the highest since 2019.

The Brazilian and Polish central banks are, by contrast, expected to keep their key rates unchanged in meetings currently still in progress. 

Bank of Canada raises key rate 50bps, leaves future rate path open

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