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Bank of Canada won’t raise interest rates until 2016: Scotiabank

Posted on Oct 9, 2013 in Mortgage Market Updates and News

Canadian Press | 03/10/13 1:24 PM ET
 
Why U.S. uncertainty could mean ultra-low rates for years — or even ‘decades to come’
 
With the U.S. government deadlock heading toward a more damaging crisis and global economic growth falling far short of expectations, a hike in interest rates has been put on hold and one of the world’s most powerful investors now says he expects ultra-low rates for decades.
 
“Bond King” Bill Gross, the widely regarded manager of one of the world’s largest investment funds, called for interest rates to remain lower for “decades to come” in his monthly economic commentary on Wednesday.
 
The economists say remarks by the central bank’s senior deputy governor earlier this week suggest the bank’s view is now that the economy’s spare capacity may remain into sometime in 2016.
 
Even then, the economists argue the economy is unlikely to overshoot into excess demand, so there would be no hurry for the bank to raise rates.
 
Most analysts see the bank keeping its policy rate at one per cent — where it’s been for three years — until sometime late in 2014 or early 2015, but few believe it will stay at such stimulative level for another two or three years.
 
On Tuesday, the central bank’s Tiff Macklem said the economy needs to grow by more than 2.5% annually to start closing the output gap, a key measure of whether the economy is performing up to potential.
 
That’s a significant downgrade from the second-half acceleration the bank had expected.
 
Further worries that 2014 will also prove disappointing suggest the central bank may need to revise its longer-term outlook for the economy as well, Scotiabank says.
 
Low interest rates are generally seen as likely to boost economic performance because firms and individuals can more cheaply finance their investments and spending.
 
But the Bank of Canada has also warned that keeping rates low for too long a period is problematic for savers and pension funds, and encourages households to spend beyond their means.


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