Bank of Canada has no immediate intentions to raise interest rates, Macklem says

Rates would only go up once Canada is well into an economic recovery

Canada’s new top central banker says the Bank of Canada has no intention to raise interest rates given the current economic circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Tiff Macklem says the central bank is focused on delivering low interest rates for the foreseeable future to support an economic recovery.

That should also help lower the debt-servicing costs households and businesses face, he says, particularly if they’ve taken out loans to bridge to better times.

Rates would only go up once Canada is well into an economic recovery, which Macklem suggests is still a long way off.

The Bank of Canada has dropped its key interest rate to 0.25 per cent, which it says is as low as it can go, and gone on an unprecedented bond purchasing program to ease credit flows in financial markets.

Macklem made the comments during his first appearance as governor before the House of Commons finance committee — his first public statement since taking the top job on June 3.

“Some day we will get through this, the economy will be recovered and interest rates will start to move back to more normal levels,” Macklem said Tuesday.

“But we’re in a deep hole, and it’s going to be a long way out of this hole.”

During his appearance, Macklem said the bank’s focus in the initial weeks of the crisis was on restoring orderly market conditions, efforts that seem to be paying off with conditions normalizing.

He says the bank is now turning its focus to the future path of monetary policy, with an important step to be taken next month with the publication of an economic outlook.

The bank’s July monetary policy report will likely again provide best- and worst-case scenarios for the economy rather than hard figures for gross domestic product and inflation because of the unknown course of the pandemic, Macklem says.

He adds the report will also have a discussion about possible risks facing the economy and for the bank in hitting its target inflation rate.

The results of the report will help determine how much monetary stimulus will be needed and for how long, Macklem says.

He also says he expects to see growth in the third quarter of the year given the growth of 290,000 jobs recorded in May, as well as more people looking for work and more working regular hours.

“I think could see some good numbers (in the third quarter), but I would stress that even the good case is still pretty bad,” Macklem said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
Injured mountain biker rescued in West Kelowna

The mountain biker reportedly has a hip injury about 1 km up the Smith Creek Road trail

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

The Pierre family, an Indigenous family, once lived in what is now downtown Summerland. Today, Pierre Drive is named in honour of the family. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Most Read