The Bank of Canada announced Wednesday it is maintaining its key interest rate target at 1.25 per cent, citing growing uncertainty over trade policy developments. Here’s a look at what economists and analysts are saying in reaction to the central bank’s decision:

“The trade story is the real story. People are surprised by the steel and aluminum tariffs. That’s exactly what Trump is doing and that’s exactly what he’s been telling us he’s going to do. No surprises there. I think when it comes to NAFTA, we are all in La La Land. NAFTA is a real thing, and for the first time the Bank of Canada is telling us this is the main issue – a growing concern – so clearly they are taking this into account. I think the market is too aggressive in pricing in the Bank of Canada [rate hikes]. I think they will go only once or twice this year.”

- Benjamin Tal, CIBC Capital Markets deputy chief economist

“The market was pricing in about a 50 per cent chance that we would hike three times. That would mean we’d have to hike in June, September and December. … You’d have to clear up the NAFTA uncertainty, you’d have to have some much better economic data, you’d have to erase the housing worries. And I just don’t see any way those three things can happen, so those rate hikes are priced into the Canadian dollar and they’re going to have to come out. The Canadian dollar is just going to have to come down.”

- Adam Button,  Forexlive chief currency analyst

“While largely devoid of surprises, this statement gives zero sense of urgency for further rate hikes, and seems to fit in with our view that the bank is on the sidelines until the second half of the year.”

- Doug Porter, BMO Financial Group chief economist

“Given the developments since January, anything that wasn't dovish would have been a surprise. The economic outlook may be positive, but with trade risks mounting and the economy in the middle of an adjustment to yet another round of measures to cool housing markets, a 'wait and see' approach is clearly appropriate. Now is not the time to rock the boat.”

- Brian DePratto, TD senior economist