BANK OF CANADA DECISION KEY POINTS:
- Bank of Canada holds interest rates unchanged at 4.5%, in line with expectations
- Policy statement reiterates that the central bank is prepared to hike rates again if needed
- USD/CAD whiplashes, but heads slightly lower after the announcement crosses the wire
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The Bank of Canada concluded its April monetary policy meeting this morning, voting to leave its overnight interest rate unchanged at 4.50% for the second consecutive reunion – a decision that was broadly in line with expectations. USD/CAD whiplashed, but headed slightly lower after the announcement, falling about 0.08% on the session.
The statement maintained similar guidance to last month, noting that the bank is prepared to raise borrowing costs again if needed to restore price stability, a sign that the tightening cycle is not necessarily over despite this hold.
On the economy, policymakers acknowledged that the labor market remains tight, that growth is holding up better than anticipated and that inflationary pressures continue to ease, although they also admitted that returning inflation to the 2.0% target could prove more difficult given underlying price dynamics.
In terms of macroeconomic forecasts, the central bank upgraded its 2023 GDP forecast, lifting it to 1.4% from 1.0% previously. Meanwhile, the inflation outlook was little changed, indicating that CPI is evolving in line with previous projections. The table below summarizes the updated projections.
Source: Bank of Canada
The overall tone suggests that BoC will adopt a wait-and-see approach to err on the side of caution, but could resume its tightening campaign in the future without hesitation if the inflationary backdrop worsens or incoming data warrants it. This bias should support the Canadian dollar in the near term.
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