Inflation hits 30-year high in Canada
Some economists expect the Bank to raise its benchmark policy rate at next Wednesday’s meeting, a move that would see rate hikes begin much sooner than the current timeline of the middle quarters of 2022.
Silvana Dimino, a New York-based economist with J.P. Morgan, anticipated a 25-basis-point hike to 0.5% in the January 26 announcement, followed by as many as four further increases to leave the benchmark rate sitting around 1.5% by the end of the year.
That view was based on “heightened concerns” from the Bank that the output gap was closing more rapidly than expected, Dimino wrote in a note to clients, due to labour market dynamics and outperforming economic data.
The Bank has maintained its policy rate at 0.25% throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, although in recent statements it has pushed its forecast for rate increases forward from sometime in 2023 to the middle quarters of 2022 – possibly as early as April.