Archive for the ‘Canada Prime’ Category

BoC Hikes Policy Rate 25bp; Prime Follows

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

The Bank of Canada has announced:

The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 ¾ per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 ½ per cent.

The global economic outlook remains solid. The US economy is especially robust and is expected to moderate over the projection horizon, as forecast in the Bank’s July Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will reduce trade policy uncertainty in North America, which has been an important curb on business confidence and investment. However, trade conflict, particularly between the United States and China, is weighing on global growth and commodity prices. Financial market volatility has resurfaced and some emerging markets are under stress but, overall, global financial conditions remain accommodative.

The Canadian economy continues to operate close to its potential and the composition of growth is more balanced. Despite some quarterly fluctuations, growth is expected to average about 2 per cent over the second half of 2018. Real GDP is projected to grow by 2.1 per cent this year and next before slowing to 1.9 per cent in 2020.

The projections for business investment and exports have been revised up, reflecting the USMCA and the recently-approved liquid natural gas project in British Columbia. Still, investment and exports will be dampened by the recent decline in commodity prices, as well as ongoing competitiveness challenges and limited transportation capacity. The Bank will be monitoring the extent to which the USMCA leads to more confidence and business investment in Canada.

Household spending is expected to continue growing at a healthy pace, underpinned by solid employment income growth. Households are adjusting their spending as expected in response to higher interest rates and housing market policies. In this context, household credit growth continues to moderate and housing activity across Canada is stabilizing. As a result, household vulnerabilities are edging lower in a number of respects, although they remain elevated.

CPI inflation dropped to 2.2 per cent in September, in large part because the summer spike in airfares was reversed. Other temporary factors pushing up inflation, such as past increases in gasoline prices and minimum wages, should fade in early 2019. Inflation is then expected to remain close to the 2 per cent target through the end of 2020. The Bank’s core measures of inflation all remain around 2 per cent, consistent with an economy that is operating at capacity. Wage growth remains moderate, although it is projected to pick up in the coming quarters, consistent with the Bank’s latest Business Outlook Survey.

Given all of these factors, Governing Council agrees that the policy interest rate will need to rise to a neutral stance to achieve the inflation target. In determining the appropriate pace of rate increases, Governing Council will continue to take into account how the economy is adjusting to higher interest rates, given the elevated level of household debt. In addition, we will pay close attention to global trade policy developments and their implications for the inflation outlook.

As usual there are no details of how the voting went or any capsule description of the rationale for such dissent, as is routinely provided by professionally managed central banks such as the US Federal Reserve. It’s a pity that members of the grandiosely named Governing Council are so insecure!

The Big Banks hiked prime. Sadly, we do not know what has been done with the banks’ top secret internal primes or the spreads to Prime that the average customer might see on his renewal notice.

Details are:

BoC Raises Policy Rate 25bp; Prime Follows

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

The Bank of Canada has announced:

The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 ½ per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 ¾ per cent and the deposit rate is 1 ¼ per cent.

The Bank expects the global economy to grow by about 3 ¾ per cent in 2018 and 3 ½ per cent in 2019, in line with the April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The US economy is proving stronger than expected, reinforcing market expectations of higher policy rates and pushing up the US dollar. This is contributing to financial stresses in some emerging market economies. Meanwhile, oil prices have risen. Yet, the Canadian dollar is lower, reflecting broad-based US dollar strength and concerns about trade actions. The possibility of more trade protectionism is the most important threat to global prospects.

Canada’s economy continues to operate close to its capacity and the composition of growth is shifting. Temporary factors are causing volatility in quarterly growth rates: the Bank projects a pick-up to 2.8 per cent in the second quarter and a moderation to 1.5 per cent in the third. Household spending is being dampened by higher interest rates and tighter mortgage lending guidelines. Recent data suggest housing markets are beginning to stabilize following a weak start to 2018. Meanwhile, exports are being buoyed by strong global demand and higher commodity prices. Business investment is growing in response to solid demand growth and capacity pressures, although trade tensions are weighing on investment in some sectors. Overall, the Bank still expects average growth of close to 2 per cent over 2018-2020.

CPI and the Bank’s core measures of inflation remain near 2 per cent, consistent with an economy operating close to capacity. CPI inflation is expected to edge up further to about 2.5 per cent before settling back to 2 per cent by the second half of 2019. The Bank estimates that underlying wage growth is running at about 2.3 per cent, slower than would be expected in a labour market with no slack.

As in April, the projection incorporates an estimate of the impact of trade uncertainty on Canadian investment and exports. This effect is now judged to be larger, given mounting trade tensions.

The July projection also incorporates the estimated impact of tariffs on steel and aluminum recently imposed by the United States, as well as the countermeasures enacted by Canada. Although there will be difficult adjustments for some industries and their workers, the effect of these measures on Canadian growth and inflation is expected to be modest.

Governing Council expects that higher interest rates will be warranted to keep inflation near target and will continue to take a gradual approach, guided by incoming data. In particular, the Bank is monitoring the economy’s adjustment to higher interest rates and the evolution of capacity and wage pressures, as well as the response of companies and consumers to trade actions.

As usual there are no details of how the voting went or any capsule description of the rationale for such dissent, as is routinely provided by professionally managed central banks such as the US Federal Reserve. It’s a pity that members of the grandiosely named Governing Council are so insecure!

Market reaction was muted:

The Canadian dollar weakened to a more than one-week low against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as broad-based gains for the greenback offset an interest rate hike and the prospect of further tightening by the Bank of Canada.

The U.S. dollar rose as the market put aside trade tension fears and focused on an expectation-beating inflation report, which increased prospects that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates two more times this year.

“This U.S. dollar move offsets and even more so the somewhat hawkish BoC hike,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.50 per cent, the fourth hike since last summer.

Money markets see a nearly 70 per cent chance of further tightening by December.

The Big Banks hiked prime. Sadly, we do not know what has been done with the banks’ top secret internal primes or the spreads to Prime that the average customer might see on his renewal notice.

Details are:

BoC Hike Policy Rate 25bp; Prime Follows

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

The Bank of Canada has announced:

The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 1/4 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. Recent data have been strong, inflation is close to target, and the economy is operating roughly at capacity. However, uncertainty surrounding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is clouding the economic outlook.

The global economy continues to strengthen, with growth expected to average 3 1/2 per cent over the projection horizon. Growth in advanced economies is projected to be stronger than in the Bank’s October Monetary Policy Report (MPR). In particular, there are signs of increasing momentum in the US economy, which will be boosted further by recent tax changes. Global commodity prices are higher, although the benefits to Canada are being diluted by wider spreads between benchmark world and Canadian oil prices.

In Canada, real GDP growth is expected to slow to 2.2 per cent in 2018 and 1.6 per cent in 2019, following an estimated 3.0 per cent in 2017. Growth is expected to remain above potential through the first quarter of 2018 and then slow to a rate close to potential for the rest of the projection horizon.

Consumption and residential investment have been stronger than anticipated, reflecting strong employment growth. Business investment has been increasing at a solid pace, and investment intentions remain positive. Exports have been weaker than expected although, apart from cross-border shifts in automotive production, there have been positive signs in most other categories.

Looking forward, consumption and residential investment are expected to contribute less to growth, given higher interest rates and new mortgage guidelines, while business investment and exports are expected to contribute more. The Bank’s outlook takes into account a small benefit to Canada’s economy from stronger US demand arising from recent tax changes. However, as uncertainty about the future of NAFTA is weighing increasingly on the outlook, the Bank has incorporated into its projection additional negative judgement on business investment and trade.

The Bank continues to monitor the extent to which strong demand is boosting potential, creating room for more non-inflationary expansion. In this respect, capital investment, firm creation, labour force participation, and hours worked are all showing promising signs. Recent data show that labour market slack is being absorbed more quickly than anticipated. Wages have picked up but are rising by less than would be typical in the absence of labour market slack.

In this context, inflation is close to 2 per cent and core measures of inflation have edged up, consistent with diminishing slack in the economy. The Bank expects CPI inflation to fluctuate in the months ahead as various temporary factors (including gasoline and electricity prices) unwind. Looking through these temporary factors, inflation is expected to remain close to 2 per cent over the projection horizon.

While the economic outlook is expected to warrant higher interest rates over time, some continued monetary policy accommodation will likely be needed to keep the economy operating close to potential and inflation on target. Governing Council will remain cautious in considering future policy adjustments, guided by incoming data in assessing the economy’s sensitivity to interest rates, the evolution of economic capacity, and the dynamics of both wage growth and inflation.

As usual there are no details of how the voting went or any capsule description of the rationale for such dissent, as is routinely provided by professionally managed central banks such as the US Federal Reserve. It’s a pity that members of the grandiosely named Governing Council are so insecure!

The Big Banks hiked prime. Sadly, we do not know what has been done with the banks’ top secret internal primes or the spreads to Prime that the average customer might see on his renewal notice.

Details are:

BoC Hikes Overnight Rate 25bp; Prime Follows

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

The Bank of Canada has announced:

The Bank of Canada is raising its target for the overnight rate to 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

Recent economic data have been stronger than expected, supporting the Bank’s view that growth in Canada is becoming more broadly-based and self-sustaining. Consumer spending remains robust, underpinned by continued solid employment and income growth. There has also been more widespread strength in business investment and in exports. Meanwhile, the housing sector appears to be cooling in some markets in response to recent changes in tax and housing finance policies. The Bank continues to expect a moderation in the pace of economic growth in the second half of 2017, for the reasons described in the July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), but the level of GDP is now higher than the Bank had expected.

The global economic expansion is becoming more synchronous, as anticipated in July, with stronger-than-expected indicators of growth, including higher industrial commodity prices. However, significant geopolitical risks and uncertainties around international trade and fiscal policies remain, leading to a weaker US dollar against many major currencies. In this context, the Canadian dollar has appreciated, also reflecting the relative strength of Canada’s economy.

While inflation remains below the 2 per cent target, it has evolved largely as expected in July. There has been a slight increase in both total CPI and the Bank’s core measures of inflation, consistent with the dissipating negative impact of temporary price shocks and the absorption of economic slack. Nonetheless, there remains some excess capacity in Canada’s labour market, and wage and price pressures are still more subdued than historical relationships would suggest, as observed in some other advanced economies.

Given the stronger-than-expected economic performance, Governing Council judges that today’s removal of some of the considerable monetary policy stimulus in place is warranted. Future monetary policy decisions are not predetermined and will be guided by incoming economic data and financial market developments as they inform the outlook for inflation. Particular focus will be given to the evolution of the economy’s potential, and to labour market conditions. Furthermore, given elevated household indebtedness, close attention will be paid to the sensitivity of the economy to higher interest rates.

As usual there are no details of how the voting went or any capsule description of the rationale for such dissent, as is routinely provided by professionally managed central banks such as the US Federal Reserve. It’s a pity that members of the grandiosely named Governing Council are so insecure!

The Big Banks hiked prime. Sadly, we do not know what has been done with the banks’ top secret internal primes or the spreads to Prime that the average customer might see on his renewal notice.

Details are:

BoC Hikes Overnight Rate 25bp; Prime Follows

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

The Bank of Canada has announced:

The Bank of Canada is raising its target for the overnight rate to 3/4 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/2 per cent. Recent data have bolstered the Bank’s confidence in its outlook for above-potential growth and the absorption of excess capacity in the economy. The Bank acknowledges recent softness in inflation but judges this to be temporary. Recognizing the lag between monetary policy actions and future inflation, Governing Council considers it appropriate to raise its overnight rate target at this time.

The Bank estimates real GDP growth will moderate further over the projection horizon, from 2.8 per cent in 2017 to 2.0 per cent in 2018 and 1.6 per cent in 2019. The output gap is now projected to close around the end of 2017, earlier than the Bank anticipated in its April Monetary Policy Report (MPR).

CPI inflation has eased in recent months and the Bank’s three measures of core inflation all remain below 2 per cent. The factors behind soft inflation appear to be mostly temporary, including heightened food price competition, electricity rebates in Ontario, and changes in automobile pricing. As the effects of these relative price movements fade and excess capacity is absorbed, the Bank expects inflation to return to close to 2 per cent by the middle of 2018. The Bank will continue to analyze short-term inflation fluctuations to determine the extent to which it remains appropriate to look through them.

Governing Council judges that the current outlook warrants today’s withdrawal of some of the monetary policy stimulus in the economy. Future adjustments to the target for the overnight rate will be guided by incoming data as they inform the Bank’s inflation outlook, keeping in mind continued uncertainty and financial system vulnerabilities.

As usual there are no details of how the voting went or any capsule description of the rationale for such dissent, as is routinely provided by professionally managed central banks such as the US Federal Reserve. It’s a pity that members of the grandiosely named Governing Council are so insecure!

As noted by Tim Shufelt and James Bradshaw in the Globe, the corresponding cut in 2015 resulted in a Prime decrease of only 15bp; this was reported on PrefBlog. Sadly, we do not know what has been done with the banks’ top secret internal primes or the spreads to Prime that the average customer might see on his renewal notice.

Details are:

BoC Cuts Overnight Rate 25bp; Prime Eases 15bp

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

The Bank of Canada has announced:

that it is lowering its target for the overnight rate by one-quarter of one percentage point to 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent.

Total CPI inflation in Canada has been around 1 per cent in recent months, reflecting year-over-year price declines for consumer energy products. Core inflation has been close to 2 per cent, with disinflationary pressures from economic slack being offset by transitory effects of the past depreciation of the Canadian dollar and some sector-specific factors. Setting aside these transitory effects, the Bank judges that the underlying trend in inflation is about 1.5 to 1.7 per cent.

The Bank’s estimate of growth in Canada in 2015 has been marked down considerably from its April projection. The downward revision reflects further downgrades of business investment plans in the energy sector, as well as weaker-than-expected exports of non-energy commodities and non-commodities. Real GDP is now projected to have contracted modestly in the first half of the year, resulting in higher excess capacity and additional downward pressure on inflation.

The Bank now projects Canada’s real GDP will grow by just over 1 per cent in 2015 and about 2 1/2 per cent in 2016 and 2017. With this revised growth profile, the output gap is significantly larger than was expected in April, and closes somewhat later. The Bank anticipates that the economy will return to full capacity and inflation to 2 per cent on a sustained basis in the first half of 2017.

The lower outlook for Canadian growth has increased the downside risks to inflation. While vulnerabilities associated with household imbalances remain elevated and could edge higher, Canada’s economy is undergoing a significant and complex adjustment. Additional monetary stimulus is required at this time to help return the economy to full capacity and inflation sustainably to target.

(Updated)
And the banks’ reaction is:

Prime Drops to 2.85%

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Following the Bank of Canada’s reduction of the overnight rate from 1.00% to 0.75%, discussed on January 21, there has now – at last – been a move by the banks to cut prime:

Canada’s biggest banks have started passing on some – but not all – of the Bank of Canada’s recent rate cut, lowering the interest charged to borrowers with loans and mortgages tied to the prime rate.

Royal Bank was the first to cut its prime rate when it announced it would go down to 2.85 per cent from three per cent, effective Wednesday.

The move was quickly matched by the Bank of Montreal, TD Bank and CIBC.

However, the big banks had been slow to match the cut with a reduction in their prime rates.

Spin Mortgage co-founder Steve Pipkey says the prime lending rate offered by Canadian banks usually moves in lockstep with the central bank’s overnight lending rate and it’s unusual for banks to only partially pass on the savings to consumers.

The most recent exception was in December 2008, when the central bank cut its key interest rate by 75 basis points. The banks responded at the time with a 50 basis point reduction to their prime rates.

Doug Alexander of Bloomberg comments:

There have been exceptions to the general rule of banks following the Bank of Canada. In December 2008, the Bank of Canada cut its overnight rate 75 basis points to 1.5 percent while the six large lenders cut their prime 50 basis points to 3.5 percent, creating a 2 percentage point margin between the two rates.

If today’s gap of 2.1 percentage point persists it would be the highest on a consistent basis since the Bank of Canada started shifting to the overnight rate as its target in 1994, according to Bloomberg data.

BoC Increases O/N Rate 25bp to 1.00%; Prime Follows

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

The Bank of Canada has announced:

that it is raising its target for the overnight rate by one-quarter of one percentage point to 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

The Bank now expects the economic recovery in Canada to be slightly more gradual than it had projected in its July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), largely reflecting a weaker profile for U.S. activity. Inflation in Canada has been broadly in line with the Bank’s expectations and its dynamics are essentially unchanged.

Against this backdrop, the Bank decided to increase its target for the overnight rate to 1 per cent. As a result of monetary policy measures taken since April, financial conditions in Canada have tightened modestly but remain exceptionally stimulative. This is consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target in an environment of significant excess supply in Canada.

Any further reduction in monetary policy stimulus would need to be carefully considered in light of the unusual uncertainty surrounding the outlook.

Bloomberg comments:

The increase was the bank’s third since June, and most economists, including Durocher, now forecast Governor Mark Carney will keep the rate at 1 percent until April.

Prime followed:

BoC Hikes Overnight Rate by 25bp to 0.75%, Prime Follows

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

The Bank of Canada has announced:

The Bank expects the economic recovery in Canada to be more gradual than it had projected in its April MPR, with growth of 3.5 per cent in 2010, 2.9 per cent in 2011, and 2.2 per cent in 2012. This revision reflects a slightly weaker profile for global economic growth and more modest consumption growth in Canada. The Bank anticipates that business investment and net exports will make a relatively larger contribution to growth.

Inflation in Canada has been broadly in line with the Bank’s April projection. While the Bank now expects the economy to return to full capacity at the end of 2011, two quarters later than had been anticipated in April, the underlying dynamics for inflation are little changed. Both total CPI and core inflation are expected to remain near 2 per cent throughout the projection period. The Bank will look through the transitory effects on inflation of changes to provincial indirect taxes.

Reflecting all of these factors, the Bank has decided to raise the target for the overnight rate to 3/4 per cent. This decision leaves considerable monetary stimulus in place, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target in light of the significant excess supply in Canada, the strength of domestic spending, and the uneven global recovery.

Prime followed:

BoC Raises O/N Rate 25bp to 0.50%; Prime Follows

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The Bank of Canada has announced:

that it is raising its target for the overnight rate by one-quarter of one percentage point to 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly raised to 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is kept at 1/4 per cent, thus re-establishing the normal operating band of 50 basis points for the overnight rate.

Activity in Canada is unfolding largely as expected. The economy grew by a robust 6.1 per cent in the first quarter, led by housing and consumer spending. Employment growth has resumed. Going forward, household spending is expected to decelerate to a pace more consistent with income growth. The anticipated pickup in business investment will be important for a more balanced recovery.

CPI inflation has been in line with the Bank’s April projections. The outlook for inflation reflects the combined influences of strong domestic demand, slowing wage growth, and overall excess supply.

In this context, the Bank has decided to raise the target for the overnight rate to 1/2 per cent and to re-establish the normal functioning of the overnight market.

This decision still leaves considerable monetary stimulus in place, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target in light of the significant excess supply in Canada, the strength of domestic spending, and the uneven global recovery.

Given the considerable uncertainty surrounding the outlook, any further reduction of monetary stimulus would have to be weighed carefully against domestic and global economic developments.

The re-establishment of normal operating conditions is explained separately:

The Bank will conduct Special Purchase and Resale Agreement (SPRA) and Sale and Repurchase Agreement (SRA) operations as necessary to reinforce the target for the overnight rate (see Terms and Conditions). The targeted level of settlement balances will be gradually reduced to the typical level of $25 million according to the following schedule:
  • 2 June 2010 – targeted settlement balances will be lowered from $3 billion to $1 billion;
  • 9 June 2010 – targeted settlement balances will be further lowered from $1 billion to $200 million; and
  • 16 June 2010 – targeted settlement balances will be lowered from $200 million to $25 million.

The Overnight Standing Purchase and Resale Agreement (PRA) Facility, under which Primary Dealers have access to an overnight standing PRA facility at the Bank rate, will be made a permanent part of the standard operating framework

The banks have followed:

  • BMO +25bp to 2.50%
  • RY +25bp to 2.50%
  • BNS +25bp to 2.50%
  • NA +25bp to 2.50%
  • CM +25bp to 2.50%
  • TD +25bp to 2.50