In the run up to this week’s rate setting by the Bank of Canada, talk of a coming rate cut is creeping into the forecast.
A recent Reuters poll of 40 economists put the chances of a cut, within the next 12 months, at 40%. However, the same poll but the chances of a cut, within this year, at about 20%.
Many of the economists cite global trade uncertainties – which are stalling economic growth in Canada and other countries – as the key trigger for a possible 25 basis-point reduction. Most of the concern centres on the current China – U.S. tensions and the potential for a recession in the States rather than domestic, Canadian, factors.
Realistically, it is unlikely there will be any interest rate movement – down or up – in Canada before 2020. The BoC is calling for moderate GDP growth through the second half of this year. As well, the politics surrounding the October federal election will keep the bank on the sidelines.
In a separate Reuters poll, property market gurus predict home prices will remain in the doldrums for the rest of 2019. They are forecasting a little breeze next year that will push prices up by about 1.7%, which will barely meet the rate of inflation. The Canadian Real Estate Association is forecasting a 1.6% decline in sales for this year, with a 2.0% increase in 2020.
The market-watchers polled by Reuters point to debt-burdened consumers as the key reason for the slowdown.