Tuesday

Bank of Canada holds interest rate steady

The Bank of Canada held its benchmark overnight lending rate steady at 4.25 per cent Tuesday and said the risks to its forecast remain balanced. This announcement surprised no one. Every economist polled by news agencies had predicted the central bank would make no change to its key rate, which hasn't changed since last May 24 when it was increased by 25 basis points.

The target rate for overnight loans between banks remains 4.25 percent, the highest since August 2001 and 1 percentage point less than the U.S. Federal Reserve's target. he bank has held rates steady six times in a row following seven hikes ending in May 2006. "Despite recent volatility in global financial markets, the bank continues to judge that the risks to its inflation projection are roughly balanced," the bank said in a statement accompanying the rate announcement. "The main downside risk continues to be that growth in the U.S. economy could be lower than expected."

Bank of Canada continues to say the Canadian economy is operating at, or just above, its production capacity. The next scheduled Bank of Canada rate policy announcement is set for April 24. The next monetary policy report will follow two days later. Interest rates are widely expected to remain unchanged on the next meeting as well.

Talk to your mortgage broker if you have any questions about your variable rate mortgage.

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