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Bank of Canada to keep interest rate unchanged, unlikely to hike in 2017

The Bank of Canada (BoC) is expected to hold its first monetary policy meeting of 2017 on January 18. It is widely expected to maintain its bank rate at a historic low of 0.50 percent amid global market uncertainties.

The rate statement hits the tapes at 15:00 GMT on Wednesday along with the Monetary Policy Report and its full set of forecast updates. Governor Poloz and Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins hold a joint press conference 75 minutes later.

Macroeconomic data may have improved and headline inflation is on the rise, but these necessary but not sufficient conditions for a more hawkish bias shift at the Bank of Canada will instead probably encounter a patient stance.

Because Fed Chair Yellen speaks twice after the BoC announcements this week, it’s possible that a hawkish sounding Fed will do any of the Bank of Canada’s residual policy work for it on the CAD should the BoC feel the need to retain a cautious but more balanced stance than previously.

The central bank in its December statement mentioned that the dynamics of growth were large as the BoC anticipated. Following a very weak first-half of 2016 growth in the third-quarter of 2016 rebounded strongly, but more moderate growth was anticipated in the fourth-quarter of 2016.

Consumption growth was robust in the third-quarter of 2016, supported by the new Canada Child Benefit, while the effects of federal infrastructure spending were not yet evident in the GDP data. Meanwhile, business investment and non-energy goods exports continued to disappoint. There was an ongoing gain in employment, but a significant amount of economic slack remained in Canada (in contrast to the United States).

While household imbalances continued to rise, these were expected to be mitigated over time by announced changes to housing finance rules. Additionally, following the election in the United States, there was a rapid back-up in global bond yields, partly reflecting market anticipation of fiscal expansion in a US economy that is near full capacity. Canadian yields rose significantly in this context.

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July 2 15:00 UTC Released

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449.6 Stale

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451.7 Stale

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-1541 %

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2016 bln ARS

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Bln AR bln ARS

January 31 00:00 UTC 813692813692m

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2016 bln ARS

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