Bank of Canada expected to maintain interest rates, quantitative easing

This morning, Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem is expected to announce interest rates will hold at 0.25% until at least 2023 and bond purchases will continue at $4B each week. The Bank currently owns about one-third of government debt.

The Canadian Press with CNC files

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada will deliver an interest rate announcement today with observers watching if news about vaccines gives a shot in the arm to the bank's outlook on the economy.

The central bank's most recent economic forecasts were based on having a vaccine becoming widely available in 2022, not by next year as now appears the case.

The timing of a vaccine could change the course of an economic recovery that the central bank has warned could be long and bumpy.

The Bank of Canada's key policy rate is expected stay at its rock-bottom level of 0.25 per cent. Governor Tiff Macklem has said no rate cut is planned until the economy fully recovers and inflation gets back to the bank's two per cent target.

As well, the bank is expected to maintain its current pace of $4 billion in bond purchases each week. The bank currently owns about 34 per cent of government bonds, holding down the interest rate on government debt.

Today will also mark a change in the upper echelons of the bank's leadership, as senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins departs after a nearly 20-year career at the Bank of Canada.

The bank's board of directors has launched a search process to find her successor as the bank's second-in-command.

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