What the newest GDP figures imply for the Financial institution of Canada’s charge minimize timing


Canada’s stronger-than-expected GDP progress in January may pose a problem for the Financial institution of Canada, probably complicating the timing for its anticipated rate of interest cuts.

Financial progress rose 0.6% in January, and early estimates level to a different 0.4% month-to-month rise in February, in keeping with figures launched by Statistics Canada.

The expansion was largely influenced by a rebound in instructional companies (+6.0%), because of the decision of public-sector strikes in Quebec, whereas goods-producing sectors have been additionally up 0.2% on the month.

Ought to the flash estimate for February maintain, BMO Chief Economist Douglas Porter famous that even a flat studying in March would lead to annualized first-quarter progress of three.5%. That might be nicely above the Financial institution of Canada’s present Q1 forecast for progress of simply 0.5%.

What it means for anticipated charge minimize timing

Whereas economists warning towards studying an excessive amount of into one robust month of information, they agree that if the pattern continues, it’s prone to complicate the Financial institution of Canada’s coming financial coverage selections.

For now, markets proceed to count on the Financial institution to ship its first quarter-point charge minimize as early as its June assembly. Nonetheless, bond market pricing for a June charge minimize dropped from 70% to 65% following the discharge of the GDP knowledge.

“The surprisingly wholesome begin to 2024 factors to above-potential progress in Q1, which may make the BoC a bit much less snug with the inflation outlook,” Porter wrote. “Our name for a June charge minimize nonetheless hinges on the approaching CPI reviews, but when this energy in exercise is near replicated into Q2, the BoC will see a lot much less urgency to chop charges any time quickly.”

TD Economics’ Marc Ercolao mentioned the “sturdy” progress figures current a “tough problem” for the Financial institution.

“Over the previous two months, the Financial institution has obtained stable proof that inflation is cooperating, however robust GDP knowledge prints like at the moment’s will preserve them on their toes,” he wrote. “Market pricing remains to be hopeful of a primary rate of interest minimize taking place in June, although we predict a July minimize is extra seemingly.”

Inhabitants progress masks weak GDP per capita

In the meantime, Randall Bartlett, Senior Director of Canadian Economics at Desjardins, mentioned the Financial institution of Canada is prone to “look by” the true GDP studying for January, because of the outsized influence of the rebound in instructional companies.

He added that robust inhabitants progress, fuelled by worldwide migration and a pointy improve within the admission of non-permanent residents, has additionally masked weak spot seen in actual GDP progress per capita, which has been on a downward pattern because the begin of the yr.

He notes that the federal authorities’s current announcement that it’s going to scale back the variety of non-permanent resident admissions—to five% of the entire inhabitants from 6.2%—will “weaken this materials tailwind to each progress and inflation going ahead.”

“As such, we’re of the view that the Financial institution stays on observe to start chopping rates of interest at its upcoming June assembly,” he mentioned.

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