Bank of Canada Statement
The intensification of the global financial crisis is having a marked impact on all countries. In recent weeks conditions in global financial markets have deteriorated sharply, the U.S. economy has weakened further, and commodity prices have fallen abruptly.
As a result of these developments, credit conditions in Canada have tightened significantly, despite the relative health of our financial institutions. Weaker growth in the United States and other important trading partners will increase the drag on the Canadian economy coming from net exports. The deterioration of our terms of trade will act to moderate the growth of domestic demand. While the recent depreciation of the Canadian dollar will help cushion the effects of the weaker global outlook on the domestic economy, it will not completely offset them.
Below-potential growth in aggregate demand through 2009, combined with a lower profile for commodity prices, will significantly ease inflation pressures in Canada. Inflation expectations remain well anchored.
In view of these developments, the Bank of Canada decided to join other major central banks and lower its target for the overnight rate by 50 basis points today. This action will provide timely and significant support to the Canadian economy. The Bank will continue to monitor carefully economic and financial developments, along with the evolution of risks, in judging whether any further action might be required to achieve its 2 per cent inflation target over the medium term.