The Bank of Canada did what markets expected on Wednesday by raising its key interest rate to 0.75 per cent. The quarter-percentage-point increase marked the first time the central bank boosted its trend-setting rate since Sept. 8, 2010.
Here’s a snapshot of what analysts had to say about the decision:
"I’m a little more skeptical that their view on the economy is going to be as robust, and especially their commentary on the United States… We haven’t had almost any growth at all in core capital goods orders in the United States since February. I think core capital spending has actually still got question marks in front of it."
"It doesn’t really matter what my view is. Stephen Poloz is the person that pulls the levers, not David Rosenberg. I think we have to read this, the guidance in particular, as being quite hawkish."
- David Rosenberg, Chief Economist & Strategist, Gluskin Sheff + Associates
“I’m totally puzzled by their communication frankly. Just a few weeks ago they were totally depressed now they are super-high. So something is happening – their communication was sub-optimal at best. Just a few weeks ago they were able to only see the clouds, today they see the sun. A rapid change and so the market is a bit confused, that’s why we see this volatility – at least as far as the loonie is concerned.”
- Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist, CIBC Capital Markets
"They did the right thing. This is 2017, it’s not the depths of recession in 2009 or even the commodity slide post mid-2014… The economy doesn’t need emergency stimulus."
"At this juncture I think it’s right not only to reverse the cuts of 2015, but to go one step further from that and take out some upside-risk insurance and start acting in front of what could be a higher-inflation profile into 2018."
- Derek Holt, Head of Capital Markets Economics at Scotiabank
"In some ways the policy statement was quite bizarre, as it made no explicit mention of housing at all. This is perhaps because they aren’t concerned at all, or, more likely, that they are really concerned and don’t want to mention anything right now until it is clearer as to the exact state of the housing market."
"We still think, however, that the economy is on the verge of a slowdown due to housing-related weaknesses, which will be reinforced by higher household borrowing costs. As we move though the year, we expect this weakness to become self-evident and this to put the brake on talk of further interest rate hikes."
- David Madani, Senior Canada Economist, Capital Economics
“This is a hawkish report. It is an optimistic one from a Canadian perspective… Notable, I think, in here is you may recall last time around, eyebrows were raised when they said the economic slack would be gone sometime in the first half of 2018. That’s now set to be gone by the end of this year. … They may not stop at one per cent. There are plans, I think, to go beyond that.”
- Eric Lascelles, Chief Economist, RBC Global Asset Management
“The defining moment was all the negativity. It’s a confirmation moment that the Bank of Canada is actually seeing all the underlying things, the attributes that will ultimately continue to help drive the Canadian economy. That’s a major positive.”
Brian Belski, chief investment strategist, BMO Capital Markets
"At this point they want to see more progress on the inflation front and they did make that very clear. Yes, there are uncertainties with what’s going on south of the border in the U.S. and whether or not Q2 growth will bounce back. And of course that’s also including upcoming negotiations in regards to NAFTA. But, again, there are internal risks that they’re monitoring, as well namely on the inflation front and of course housing and consumer leverage."
- Bipan Rai, Executive Director, Senior Macro Strategist, CIBC Capital Markets
"I think the way we want to think about this is, is this the removal of stimulus which is the way it’s been categorized, or is this the start of normalization?"
"This is key right now for central banks. This is language that not only Bank of Canada, but Mark Carney at Bank of England is using, where they’re characterizing these movements off he lower bounds as removal of stimulus, so I think this will be key for how the currency reacts moving forward."
- Mark McCormick, North American Head of FX Strategy, TD Securities
“Those on the margin will find it more difficult to qualify and afford their payments that are in variable-rate mortgages. But it’s more the psychological effect – how do people feel and think about their debt now that interest rates are rising. Will they hold off on making a home purchase, will they downsize?”
- Bruce Joseph, Principal Broker, Anthem Mortgage Group