Bank of Canada delivers another hike, key interest rate rises to 1.5%


The central bank's rate decision arrives as Canada faces significant trade-related uncertainties, including stalled NAFTA talks, USA steel and aluminum tariffs and the threat of more duties on the automotive sector.

However Poloz said the bank can not make policy on the basis of hypothetical scenarios.

Poloz recently said the impacts of the U.S. Poloz has signalled in the past that he's focused on data he can measure rather than the impacts of trade policies that have yet to materialize.

The bank said US steel and aluminum tariffs imposed in June and retaliatory countermeasures by Canada in July would trim exports, imports and economic growth, and boost inflation, but strong global demand and higher commodity prices were offsetting the tariff headwind.

Canada, which has its own trade dispute with the United States, exports many commodities and runs a current account deficit so its economy could also be hurt if the flow of trade or capital slows. It warns that "escalating trade tensions pose considerable risks to the outlook" at the global level.

The Bank of Canada monetary policy statement from July meeting.

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Raising interest rates will nearly certainly slow consumer spending, and there is no guarantee that Canadian business investment will increase to offset that - especially in the face of increased global trade tensions, Rosenberg said.

CPI and the Bank's core measures of inflation remain near 2 per cent, consistent with an economy operating close to capacity.

Economists anticipate several more hikes this year and in 2019. At the rate decision, BoC officials said they expect "higher interest rates will be warranted to keep inflation near target", offering some insight on the stance of the bank heading into future rate decisions. However, it intends to continue with its gradual, data-dependent approach.

The Royal Bank of Canada said Wednesday it will increase its prime rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3.70 per cent, effective Thursday. It also said underlying wage growth has been weaker than what would normally be expected in a tightened job market. Meanwhile, oil prices have risen.

Consumer price inflation is expected to edge up to 2.5 per cent before returning to around 2 per cent by the second half of 2019.