The Bank of Canada will keep its key interest rate at 4.5 per cent, ending a string of rate increases.
Wednesday’s announcement follows eight consecutive interest rate hikes over the past year
It is a move the central bank had been hinting at since its most recent update in January.
“Global economic developments have evolved broadly in line with the outlook in the January Monetary Policy Report,” said a news release from the Bank of Canada.
Growth in the Canadian economy was flat last quarter, with restrictive monetary policy continuing to weigh on household spending.
Inflation eased to 5.9 per cent in January, though price increases for food and shelter continue to trend even higher.
“Overall, the latest data remains in line with the Bank’s expectation that CPI inflation will come down to around 3 per cent in the middle of this year,” said the news release.
The Bank of Canada said the country’s labour market remains “very tight” at this time. Employment growth has been “surprisingly strong,” the unemployment rate remains near historic lows, and wages continue to grow at four to five per cent.
It expects weak economic growth for the next couple of quarters will help ease labour market pressures and moderate wage growth.
The Bank of Canada said there are still some global concerns, such as the strength of China’s recovery and the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine
“Governing Council will continue to assess economic developments and the impact of past interest rate increases, and is prepared to increase the policy rate further if needed to return inflation to the 2 per cent target,” it said.
The next schedule interest rate announcement is set for April 12.