The Bank of Canada will wait until at least April to change interest rates, allowing it some time to watch NAFTA negotiations and digest Q4 GDP data before making another move, a report from CIBC Capital Markets says.
The BoC maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1% on Oct. 25, saying it expects the recent strength of the Canadian dollar to slow the rise in the pace of inflation. It also pointed to unknowns around NAFTA renegotiation.
With Canada’s fourth-quarter GDP numbers not out until March, the CIBC report says the central bank will likely put off another increase at its next announcements on Dec. 6, Jan. 17 and March 7. This will also allow more time to monitor NAFTA talks.
“The market remains oddly blasé about the deterioration in the tone of NAFTA discussions given where they seem to be headed,” the report says. “At a minimum, Trump looks set to throw the treaty’s fate to Congress, with the resulting uncertainties putting downward pressure on the value of the loonie.”
Holding interest rates would allow the bank to assess how a breakdown in negotiations would impact business confidence and capital spending, the report says.
CIBC has also trimmed its medium-term forecast for long-term Canadian bond yields, the report says. “Unlike Treasurys, Canada won’t face pressure from rising deficits, greater-than-expected central bank action or an unwind of earlier QE.”
Read the full report here.