Canada Central Bank, Holding Steady, Flags Trade Concerns



Kim Mackrael | Wall Street Journal

OTTAWA—The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate unchanged at 1.75% and warned global trade tensions present a “wild card” that threatens to derail recent improvements in the Canadian economy.

In a policy statement issued alongside the rate decision on Wednesday, the central bank said there is growing evidence that trade tensions are having a material impact on the global economic outlook.

Canada’s domestic growth is bouncing back from a slowdown that began in late 2018, it said, but trade conflicts will continue to weigh on business investment and exports.

“While recent export data for Canada have been encouraging, the trade environment continues to be the biggest wild card in our outlook,” Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said in a press conference. She said trade conflicts and geopolitical tensions have taken a bigger toll than previously anticipated.

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