Tiff Macklem Delivers on Rate Hike Pause, Canadian Dollar Plummets

It appears that Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem delivered on his promise, and paused rate hikes during the central bank’s latest decision day.

Central bank policy makers decided to keep the overnight rate at 4.50%, keeping in line with Macklem’s conditional promise to pause borrowing cost increases following a 25 basis-point hike on January 25. Despite a slowdown in economic growth, lower household spending, slowing domestic demand, and weakening business investment, the bank acknowledged inflation still remains high, particularly for food and shelter.

Policy makers insisted that price pressures will continue to ease in line with the bank’s expectations, slowing to around 3% come the second half of 2023. However, the labour market still remains tight, with strong employment growth that is bringing the unemployment rate to historic lows. As such, the Bank of Canada insisted it isn’t letting down its guard just yet.

“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% target,” read the bank’s statement. “The Bank remains resolute in its commitment to restoring price stability for Canadians.”

Meanwhile, south of the border, Fed Chair Jerome Powell issued a rather diverging message the day before, acknowledging that the US economy is still in overdrive, warranting higher interest rates than previously expected, and at an even faster pace.

Rest in Peace, Canadian dollar and Macklem’s credibility.

Information for this briefing was found via the Bank of Canada and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply