Bank of Canada keeps interest rate steady at 1% again

BoC Poloz 20140916

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz kept Canada’s benchmark interest rate steady at 1 per cent again. (Ryan Remoritz/Canadian Press)

The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark interest rate at one per cent again, the same level it’s been at for more than four years.

In a statement accompanying the decision, the central bank said the current rate is “appropriate” for the current state of the economy.

The bank warned consumer spending has led to near-record-high housing prices and debt, leaving households exposed to economic shocks.

“In plain English [that] means they are becoming more concerned about persistent strength in housing markets and the broader household sector that has attained record heights across pretty much every measure of activity,” Scotiabank said in a note after the decision was released.

And in its announcement, the Bank of Canada noted the impact of declining energy prices.

“While lower oil prices would benefit consumers, their effect on Canada would, on balance, be negative, reducing Canada’s terms of trade and domestic income,” the central bank said.

The bank adjusted its July growth prediction for Canada, nudging it up one-tenth of a point to 2.3 per cent for this year. It’s keeping to its 2015 expectations of 2.4 per cent growth.

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz was scheduled to give a press conference at 11 a.m. to offer new details on the bank’s way of thinking, but that has been postponed because of the security incident unfolding in Ottawa right now.

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