The Bank of Canada is likely to hike its benchmark interest rate another half a percentage point on June 1, further raising the cost of borrowing to tackle “persistent” inflation levels not seen in 30 years, economists predict.
Economists who spoke to Global News all said they expect the central bank’s key interest rate to rise to 1.5 per cent on Wednesday.
Money markets are also pricing in a hike of 50 basis points, economists confirmed.
Such a move would make the second consecutive jump of 50 basis points from the central bank. The last time it raised rates half a percentage point in back-to-back decisions was nearly 25 years ago, in December 1997 and January 1998.
Sticker Shock: Coping with the rising cost of inflation in Canada
Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets, told Global News that the hike is expected due to inflation figures remaining high through the first half of 2022.
The 6.8 per cent inflation rate recorded last month was well above the Bank of Canada’s inflation forecast released at the start of April, which pegged year-over-year price growth around six per cent in the second quarter of the year.
Gas prices are among the areas expected to keep climbing in May, he noted, giving the Bank of Canada plenty of cause for concern in efforts to tamp down on the surging cost of living.
“Inflation is still the main story here. The Bank of Canada wants to push back on inflation and they do that by raising rates,” he said.
Inflation is beating initial expectations in part because of the prolonged war in Ukraine, according to TD Bank senior economist James Orlando.
Early in the conflict, economists had expected a “temporary spike” in prices due to gas and food supply chain constraints, but impacts three months into the war are “broader” and “much more persistent than previously thought,” Orlando explained. COVID-19 lockdowns in China contributing to global supply chain issues are among other factors.
Other central banks are also in a rate hike cycle, with the U.S. Federal Reserve also taking a half-percentage-point step in early May.
US Federal Reserve raises interest rates by 0.5% to slow inflation
Is a 75 bps hike in the cards?
Though the consensus for Wednesday’s decision is gathering around the 50-basis-point mark, economists who spoke to Global News said a more aggressive increase of 75 basis points is not out of the question.
Tu Nguyen, economist with RSM Canada, said that while back in January the idea of such a jump would have been inconceivable, today it’s “certainly possible.”
Nguyen thinks the 75-basis-point move is unlikely, however, to avoid the risk of a more steep economic decline.
“I think the bank would stick with the 50-basis-point hike. They don’t want to scare the economy too much,” she said.
Reitzes agreed, saying a 75-basis-point increase would be a “more extreme move” that wouldn’t be in line with the central bank’s messaging on interest rates to date.
While the Bank of Canada is keen to take steam out of the country’s roaring economy, two rate hikes at the start of the year have already had a cooling effect on sectors such as the housing market, where home sales are slowing and prices are showing declines in some cities.
Orlando said the real estate market has “done a 180” from just a few months back when buyers were rushing to get in before prices rose, to today when Canadians are sitting on the sidelines seeing how low prices could go.
Sticker Shock: Canada’s housing inflation keeping prospective buyers on the sidelines
When will rate hikes stop?
The current benchmark rate of one per cent is still stimulating the economy, Orlando noted, and the central bank itself said earlier this year that rates need to rise to the two-to-three per cent range before the bank’s monetary policy would truly be taking its foot off the gas.
He predicts another 50-basis-point increase in July to bring the bank’s rate to two per cent, with another hike likely in September.
Reitzes predicted the same and said the bank will likely take stock of the impact of rising rates on inflation and the economy in the fall.
Nguyen also expects the Bank of Canada will continue to raise rates through September as the bank has some “wiggle room” to increase its rate without seriously risking a recession in Canada’s “overheated economy.”
The Bank of Canada will use that runway to raise rates as it looks to maintain its “credibility” as an inflation-fighting central bank, Orlando said.
If it does not use its primary policy tool to push back on inflation, expectations of perpetual price growth could seep into the minds of consumers and businesses. If sentiment shifts and inflation is expected long term, workers will push for higher wages and businesses will plan to pass those elevated costs on to consumers, forming an endless cycle of inflation.
“If people believe that the Bank of Canada is going to be successful in reining in inflation in the future … it enables the Bank of Canada to be more effective at doing that job,” Orlando said.
The latest consumer and business outlook surveys from the Bank of Canada in early April showed that while inflation expectations remain high in the short term, Canadians remain confident pressures will ease in the longer term.
“The good news is that belief is still out there that this is going to be something that will eventually be reined in,” Orlando said.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
What every Canadian investor needs to know today – The Globe and Mail
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Major indexes on both sides of the border fell at Tuesday’s open as recession concerns continue to weigh on global sentiment.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 239.36 points, or 1.26 per cent, at 18,789.5.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 194.14 points, or 0.62 per cent, at the open to 30,903.12.
The S&P 500 opened lower by 32.72 points, or 0.86 per cent, at 3,792.61, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 163.66 points, or 1.47 per cent, to 10,964.18 at the opening bell.
“Volatility remains elevated across every asset class to be sure, although a U.S. holiday [on Monday] meant a 12-hour break from the noise,” OANDA senior analyst Jeffrey Halley said.
“What is clear is that the strategy of watching the rooster fight from the sidelines instead of getting involved remains the sensible one,” he said. “The financial markets continue to tie themselves in knots so complicated, that they would give even the saltiest mariner a headache, as they try to price in a recession no recession and its impact on asset prices.”
In the U.S. traders are now looking ahead to the release of the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve on Wednesday and fresh jobs numbers on Friday. Canadian investors also get employment figures Friday morning.
The Globe’s Mark Rendell reports that Canadian consumers and businesses expect inflation to remain high for several years, adding pressure on the Bank of Canada to announce another oversized interest rate increase next week to prevent rapid consumer price growth from becoming entrenched. The central bank released its business outlook and consumer expectations surveys on Monday.
Those surveys come ahead of next week’s Bank of Canada policy announcements. Markets are expecting the central bank to hike rates by three-quarters of a percentage point after the Fed made a similar move in its last policy announcement.
On Tuesday, Canadian investors will got May building permit figures from Statistics Canada. The agency said the total value of building permits rose 2.3 per cent. Permits in the non-residential sector jumped 7 per cent while residential permits slid 0.1 per cent.
Later in the morning, the latest home sale figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver will be released. Toronto home sales numbers follow on Wednesday.
Overseas, the pan-European STOXX 600 was off 1.83 per cent by afternoon. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 2.40 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 lost 2.49 per cent and 2.41 per cent, respectively.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.03 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.10 per cent.
Crude prices struggled in early going as recession concerns continue to weigh on sentiment.
The day range on Brent is US$112.82 to US$114.75. The range on West Texas Intermediate is US$107.25 to US$111.45.
“Although oil is trading supported on the day due to improved risk sentiment and the possible easing of U.S. trade tariffs against China, oil is still struggling to break out from its current recessionary malaise as the market pivots away from inflation to economic despair,” Stephen Innes, managing director with SPI Asset Management, said.
Meanwhile, Norwegian offshore workers began a strike Tuesday that will reduce oil and gas output.
Reuters reports that Norwegian producer Equinor has said the strike is expected to reduce oil and gas output by 89,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), of which gas output makes up 27,500 boepd.
In other commodities, gold prices slipped, hit by an elevated U.S. dollar.
Spot gold was down 0.2 per cent at US$1,805.20 per ounce early Tuesday morning, while U.S. gold futures gained 0.4 per cent to US$1,807.80.
The Canadian dollar was lower alongside weaker risk sentiment in the broader markets while its U.S. counterpart touched a fresh two-decade high against a group of world currencies.
The day range on the loonie is 77.37 US cents to 77.97 US cents.
“The hawkish BoC remains an important tailwind for the CAD alongside an economy that appears more resilient than that of other major advanced countries,” Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist with Scotiabank, said.
“However, markets may trade cautiously in the days ahead as they look to the release of the Fed’s minutes tomorrow and US ISM, ADP and NFP data later in the week.”
There were no major Canadian economic reports due Tuesday.
On world markets, the U.S. dollar index, which weighs the greenback against a basket of global peers, gained 0.8 per cent to 105.98, a new two-decade high for the currency, according to figures from Reuters.
The euro, meanwhile, fell to a two-decade low against the U.S. dollar amid continued recession concerns.
The euro’s 0.8-per-cent fall on the day took the currency to its weakest since late 2002.
The Australian dollar, meanwhile, was also weaker despite that country’s central bank’s decision to raise rates for the third time in as many months.
The Australian dollar slid 0.09-per-cent lower to US$0.6820, after trading as high as US$0.6895 earlier in the day.
In bonds, the yield on the U.S. 10-year note was down slightly at 2.882 per cent in the predawn period.
More company news
A two-week strike at Canadian National Railway Co. is ending after the union representing 750 signals and communications workers agreed to binding arbitration. Steve Martin, a spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said the strike that was launched June 18 will end just after midnight. Employees will return to their roles Wednesday morning, the company said in a news release.
French music streaming platform Deezer failed to attract much investor interest for its Paris market debut seven years after its first flotation was aborted, with its shares dropping sharply in early dealing on Tuesday. Deezer, whose larger rivals include Spotify, was down 27.15% at 0947 GMT at 6.00 euros per share, after opening at 8.50 euros.
British Airways is cancelling more flights scheduled for the summer holiday season, it said on Tuesday, at a time of widespread disruption at airports caused by staff shortages and a surge in travel demand. The airline said it would now reduce its April-October schedule by 11%, having said in May the cuts would amount to 10%.
(830 am ET) Canada building permits for May.
(10 am ET) U.S. factory orders for May.
With Reuters and The Canadian Press
Recession likely due to BoC rapid rate hikes: study – CTV News
The Bank of Canada’s strategy of rapidly increasing its key interest rate in an effort to tackle skyrocketing inflation will likely trigger a recession, says a new study released Tuesday from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The study showed that in the last 60 years the central bank has in three cases managed a 5.7 per cent reduction in the inflation rate by quickly raising interest rate, and each case was followed by a recession.
The research institute said if the central bank aims to bring inflation down from 7.7 per cent to its two per cent target by quickly raising rates, it could cause significant “collateral damage,” including 850,000 job losses, and is calling for a new policy on inflation targeting to reduce that risk.
Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, who is expecting a 0.75 percentage point interest rate increase from the Bank of Canada this month, said the swift and aggressive hikes will “for sure” cause a significant slowdown in economic growth.
“Whether or not it’s going to be an official recession remains to be seen, but clearly a significant slowdown,” she said.
She also said there are few alternatives that the central bank has at its disposal right now to tackle inflation.
“Rate hikes are needed right now — larger ones — to slay this inflation monster sooner rather than later,” she said.
David Doyle, head of economics at Macquarie Group, who is also expecting a 0.75 percentage point hike, is forecasting a recession in 2023 in both Canada and the United States.
“We expect the contraction to be greater in Canada due to its more severe structural imbalances, such as housing investment and consumer debt levels,” he said.
Canada is already experiencing a slowdown in economic growth and even seeing layoffs in some sectors, like technology.
Statistics Canada said last week it expects to report a GDP contraction of 0.2 per cent for the month of May amid weakness in the resource, manufacturing and construction sectors.
In its study, the CCPA said the Bank of Canada could potentially reduce the risk of sending the economy into a recession by adjusting its target inflation rate to four per cent. The study highlighted how the bank has successfully avoided a recession when it has aimed for smaller reductions in inflation, allowing the bank to bring in smaller rate increases over a longer period.
However, Doyle said raising the inflation target to four per cent would be a “bad idea.”
“It would damage the Bank of Canada’s credibility and independence and create more uncertainty,” he said. “It would also increase the risk of a severe downside scenario, where there is a de-anchoring of consumer and business inflation expectations.”
The CCPA study comes a day after the Bank of Canada released two quarterly surveys which revealed consumers and businesses expect inflation to stay high for several years, further increasing the odds of a 0.75 percentage point interest rate hike this month.
While speaking to reporters at an event in Brampton, Ont. on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was asked about the CCPA study and said the Bank of Canada is well-equipped to handle the inflation problem.
“It has the tools and it has the expertise to (bring down inflation). And I think we should all have confidence that the Bank of Canada will do its job,” she said.
As for how long it might take to even reach the central bank’s two per cent inflation target, BMO’s Lee said we’ll likely see three per cent inflation by end of the 2023, with two per cent more a 2024 or 2025 possibility.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2022.
Air Canada connecting flights: How long you need – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
As flight delays and lost luggage bring chaos to summer travel plans, Air Canada is advising travellers on how much time they should leave between connecting flights.
After Air Canada slashed their summer schedule by more than 15 per cent last week, they also bumped up their minimum advised duration between connecting flights.
“We have rejigged flights to give customers more time to catch their flights. As well, we have introduced policies so customers can change flights or standby early at no charge if that will give them more connecting time,” Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick told CTV News Toronto.
For those travelling internationally, and making a connection through Toronto, the airline has increased the amount of time they suggest leaving between connecting flights in most scenarios by 30 minutes.
Here’s the minimum duration Air Canada recommends on new bookings for travellers connecting through Toronto Pearson International Airport.
- For passengers connecting in Toronto for travel within Canada, Air Canada now recommends at least 40 minutes to catch your second flight.
- Air Canada suggests at least 1 hour and 10 minutes for passengers coming from another Canadian city to Toronto before heading to the U.S.
- In the reverse scenario, when travelling from the U.S. to Canada with a connection in Toronto, a minimum of 1 hour and 40 minutes is advised.
- For passengers coming from another Canadian airport with a connection in Toronto before heading to any other overseas destination, the airline suggests a 60-minute connection.
- Sixty-minutes is also advised for travellers flying through Toronto from the U.S. to an international destination.
- The minimum connection time for an international traveller arriving in Toronto before heading to another Canadian destination is slightly more technical. Air Canada generally suggests 1 hour and 15 minutes, but there is a two-hour recommendation until Sept. 6, 2022 for anyone arriving in Toronto and flying onward to Montreal from the following cities: Bogotá, Doha, Dubai, Grand Cayman, Mexico City, Puerto Plata , Punta Cana, San José, Santa Clara, Santiago, Seoul , Shanghai and Port of Spain.
- International travellers heading to the U.S. through Toronto are suggested to leave 1 hour and 25 minutes between flights.
- For a traveller coming from abroad and heading to an international destination, 60 minutes is suggested for a connection through Pearson.
What happens if I miss my flight?
When a flight is either delayed by more than three hours or cancelled, Air Canada will rebook a passenger on the next available flight on a “reasonable route” from the same airport. The rebooked flight will be within 48 hours of when the event that caused the delay or cancellation ended, the rules state.
In scenarios when multiple flights on an itinerary are delayed, causing a domino effect that leads to missed flights, eligibility for compensation is based on the disruption with the most significant contributing factor.
Ultimately, the airline will determine if the delay was within Air Canada’s control. For example, if extra time is needed for a catering or crew related error, that would be within Air Canada’s control. But, if there was a maintenance issue or weather related disruption, the passenger will not be eligible for compensation.
Compensation for delays and cancellations is calculated based on your arrival time at the final destination. For delays between 3 and 6 hours, a passenger will be eligible for $400. When delays rise to between 6 and 9 hours, that amount of money increases to $700. Delays that stretch 9 hours or more amount to $1,000.
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