The Bank of Canada boosted its growth forecast Tuesday but threw a curve ball at Bay Street expectations for a July interest-rate hike by warning the “persistent strength” in the loonie could cause even greater headwinds for the economy.
While some analysts still expect the central bank to start raising rates in July after leaving them unchanged on Tuesday at 1%, others said the statement indicated the bank is in no hurry and could wait until the fall at the earliest.
“It will be difficult to pin down when the next hike will be when you have a central bank that takes the currency into account when making its policy decision,” said Avery Shenfeld, Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets. “And we have a currency that’s volatile right now.”
Shenfeld said the central bank would prefer a “softer currency” before it opts to raise rates again. He added that could unfold in July if commodity prices take a breather.