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BoC May Cut Rates Again by Mid-Year: Experts

We could be looking at another rate cut from the Bank of Canada by mid-year, says Douglas Porter, chief economist of BMO Financial Group. Along with the other Big Five economists, he spoke at the Economic Club’s 2016 outlook breakfast this morning.


While domestic growth was buoyed by stronger-than-expected housing markets and solid consumer spending in 2015, he explains, business investment has remained weak and we’ll likely only see 0.5% growth in exports. Also, he predicts the loonie will bottom out in the spring at just below US$0.70, before rebounding to US$0.73 by end of 2016.


Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets, adds that we won’t see the loonie go higher than US$0.75 in 2016-2017, even if oil improves. That’s because $60/barrel oil is “optimistic,” says Warren Jestin, chief economist at Scotiabank. He says $60-oil can reinvigorate some American shale gas operations, but that it won’t reinvigorate the oil sands, which break even between $60/barrel and $80/barrel.


Beata Caranci, chief economist of TD Bank Group, says those dynamics mean Canadian growth will stay below 2%, even in 2017. Her 1.5% to 1.7% growth forecast for 2016/2017 includes 0.3% growth from fiscal stimulus.

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