Given that it’s a federal election year, the Bank of Canada will likely be reluctant to shift monetary policy ahead of the vote this fall, says National Bank Financial (NBF).
In a new research note, NBF said that while central banks are explicitly not political institutions, the conventional thinking is that the Bank of Canada would prefer to avoid making any notable shifts in its approach to monetary policy in advance of an election.
Indeed, NBF reported that in the past seven federal elections, the central bank “pushed itself to the sidelines at least one month prior to the vote.”
The only exception to that was during the financial crisis in 2008, when it had to act, cutting rates four days before an election.
“So while it wouldn’t be totally unheard of for the Bank to tweak policy in/around the election, the bar presumably is pretty high,” NBF said.
“We might need even faster rates of growth and core inflation than our slightly-above consensus forecast entails or, conversely, a more dramatic comedown than that eyed in the [Monetary Policy Report] to spark an overt reaction from the central bank before the year is out.”