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Bank of Canada keeps rates on hold

The Bank of Canada announced on March 4th, 2015 it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent. Six weeks earlier, the Bank surprised markets by cutting the rate by a quarter of a percentage point as insurance against economic damage from the drop in oil prices.

In its March announcement, the Bank was upbeat about recent and further expected strength from exports and investment. Only time will tell to what extent these factors offset economic fallout from lower oil prices, so speculation remains as to whether the Bank will cut interest rates again later this year.

As of March 4th, 2015, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.74 per cent, down 0.05 percentage points from the previous Bank rate announcement on January 21st, and down 0.25 percentage points from one year ago.

The Bank’s next interest rate announcement is on April 15th, when it also releases its updated economic forecast. At that time and barring some unforeseeable economic calamity, it will keep rates steady rather than cutting them further.

(CREA 03/04/2015)

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