Only the beginning of quantitative easing: BMO's Porter
The Bank of Canada’s surprise decision Friday to slash its benchmark interest rate to 0.25 per cent and launch two asset purchase programs amid deepening fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and crashing oil prices was welcomed by many economists. And some are saying this isn’t the last we’ll see from the central bank.
Here’s some reaction to the bank’s latest attempt to help ease the economic pain and jolt credit markets.
“Better late than never...in what appears to be its new Friday routine, the Bank of Canada cut rates 50 bps to 0.25 per cent, moving policy rates back to the lows seen during the financial crisis just over a decade ago. In addition, the BoC announced it is officially joining the Quantitative Easing club.”
Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist, BMO Capital Markets
“There’s certainly a lot of water being thrown at this fire, but I don’t think this is the last we’re going to see from the Bank of Canada. They are clearly targeting financial market plumbing here. This is not about preventing a recession. There’s very little the Bank of Canada can do to prevent the job losses that are coming in the next couple of weeks and months. What they can do is make sure the financial markets are behaving properly.”
Frances Donald, chief economist, Manulife Investment Management
“It just shows you the scale of the situation central banks globally are dealing with. What I think the Bank of Canada is doing here is trying to reduce the cost of capital by easing financial conditions that have tightened up so dramatically.”
David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist, Rosenberg Research and Associates
“The Bank of Canada joined the string of central banks throwing the kitchen sink at the economy. There is room for the quantitative easing purchases to grow even larger. While central bank stimulus can't bring the economy back to life on its own, the Bank of Canada's actions will help alleviate some of the pain and support the recovery, whenever that begins.”
Royce Mendes, senior economist, CIBC Capital Markets
“More help is here. [Bank of Canada Governor Stephen] Poloz and his team have been proactive and creative in their response to the pandemic, and [Friday’s] announcement continues this trend. …While they're not completely ruled out, the governor's view is that negative rates are ‘not sensible’ at this stage. Clearly then, any further easing will take the form of increased purchases of government securities, and/or adjustments to other purchase programs to ensure that monetary stimulus is being transmitted fully to all corners of the financial system.”
Brian DePratto, senior economist, TD Economics