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Jan 21, 2015

Bank of Canada shocks market with rate cut, blames oil plunge

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada stunned markets by cutting interest rates on Wednesday, citing a threat to economic growth and its inflation targets from the dramatic drop in oil prices and said the bank stood ready to ease policy further if necessary.

Governor Stephen Poloz said the central bank’s surprise move to stimulate the economy provides “insurance” against risks for Canada, a major oil producer, stemming from the “oil price shock”. He said oil’s plunge could worsen household debt burdens by driving up unemployment and cutting incomes.

Jan 21, 2015

Bank of Canada makes shock rate cut on oil concerns

OTTAWA (Reuters) – In a shock move, the Bank of Canada cut its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday to counter the effects of cheaper oil on economic growth and inflation and help guard against the risks of a housing market downturn.

Ending the longest period of unchanged rates in Canada since 1950, the central bank cut its overnight rate to 0.75 percent from 1 percent, where it had been since September 2010, and it dramatically slashed its inflation and growth forecasts for the coming year.

Dec 19, 2014

Gasoline prices cool Canada inflation; cutting pressure for rate move

OTTAWA, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Tumbling gasoline prices cooled
inflation in Canada last month, providing the country’s central
bank with plenty of room to keep interest rates at their current
low levels for some time yet.

The annualized inflation rate pulled back to 2.0 percent
from October’s strong 2.4 percent, data from Statistics Canada
showed on Friday. That was short of economists’ forecasts for
2.2 percent.

Dec 10, 2014

Bank of Canada: steady financial risk despite overvalued housing

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian housing may be overvalued by as much as 30 percent, but risks to the country’s financial system remained steady with a stronger U.S. recovery expected to help keep Canada’s economy out of trouble, the Bank of Canada said on Wednesday.

The central bank also said the recent slump in oil prices was not enough to trigger a severe recession that could lead to a sharp correction in housing prices.

Dec 9, 2014

Canada introduces bill to expose U.S.-Canada price inequities

OTTAWA, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The Canadian government introduced
legislation on Tuesday to give the country’s competition
watchdog the power to embarrass companies that charge more for
products in Canada than they do in the United States.

The Conservative government’s proposed Price Transparency
Act would fall short of making it illegal to engage in price
discrimination. Doing so had been roundly criticized by
economists as undue interference in the marketplace. Instead,
the bill provides a mechanism to expose price differences.

Dec 3, 2014

Bank of Canada sees broadening recovery, oil price risk

OTTAWA, Dec 3 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada held its policy
rate unchanged at 1 percent on Wednesday, declaring that while
Canada’s economic recovery is broadening to include exports and
business investment, lower oil prices could cut inflation more
than expected.

“Canada’s economy is showing signs of a broadening
recovery,” the bank said. “Stronger exports are beginning to be
reflected in increased business investment and employment. This
suggests that the hoped-for sequence of rebuilding that will
lead to balanced and self-sustaining growth may finally have
begun.”

Nov 21, 2014

Canada inflation jumps in October, pressuring the central bank

OTTAWA, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Canada’s annual inflation rate
jumped last month as prices for shelter and food rose, putting
pressure on the Bank of Canada’s stance that interest rates will
remain low for some time.

Year-on-year inflation rose to 2.4 percent in October,
Statistics Canada data showed on Friday. That was the highest
level since June, surpassing economists’ expectations for a
slight rise to 2.1 percent from September’s 2.0 percent.

Nov 11, 2014

Canada honors war dead weeks after soldiers die in domestic attacks

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Thousands gathered for Remembrance Day ceremonies at Canada’s war memorial on Tuesday, the same site where a soldier was shot dead three weeks ago in an attack on parliament.

The annual Nov. 11 Remembrance Day honoring Canada’s war dead has taken on increased significance this year after two soldiers were killed in separate attacks in October that police said were carried out by radical recent converts to Islam.

Nov 10, 2014

Canadian housing starts slow modestly in October

OTTAWA, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Canadian housing starts
unexpectedly cooled in October as builders broke ground on fewer
multiple-unit homes, including apartment buildings and
condominiums, data showed on Monday.

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts
declined to 183,604 units last month from a revised 197,355
units in September, according to a report from the Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corp, the country’s national housing
agency.

Nov 4, 2014

BoC – stimulus still needed despite stability risks concern

OTTAWA, Nov 4 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada will plow ahead
with monetary stimulus despite risks from high household debt
and a hot housing market, Governor Stephen Poloz said on
Tuesday, pointing to recent weak data as a “brutal reminder” of
the economy’s fragility.

The central bank has kept its overnight rate at 1 percent
for more than four years, leading to concerns this might cause a
new crisis because of high household debt and housing prices.