Trade shock, harsh winter and Doug Ford blamed for pausing the Canadian economy: Don Pittis

Posted In: News Date:Apr 25th, 2019

When the Bank of Canada released the text of its latest report yesterday, the loonie fell off a cliff — and no wonder.

Interest rates were unchanged, but more important, governor Stephen Poloz had downgraded growth from 1.7 per cent to 1.2 per cent. Exports were down. So was investment. The housing bounceback was delayed.

But an odd thing happened. Once Poloz began to talk to reporters, the Canadian dollar began to recover.

While all those negative economic indicators were true, Canada's chief central banker and his senior deputy, Carolyn Wilkins, began to paint a more subtle and much more positive picture.

For indebted Canadians hoping for an endless holiday from higher borrowing costs, the news was both good and bad.

"If our forecast is right, which I firmly believe it is, what that means is interest rates are more likely to go up than down," said Poloz.

Of course, the more subtle story told by the central bankers was not universally good.