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As inflation cools, Macklem says different countries will cut rates at own pace



Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem emphasized that central banks across the globe will tailor their monetary policies to suit the unique needs of their respective economies. This approach implies that some countries may opt to lower interest rates ahead of others as they navigate their economic landscapes.


Speaking to reporters during the International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington, D.C., Macklem underscored the commitment shared among central banks to reinstate price stability. He highlighted the tangible actions taken to curb inflation, acknowledging the collaborative efforts that have contributed to this goal. However, he pointed out that as economies enter a new phase of disinflation, the pace of progress may vary among nations.


Drawing a comparison, Macklem highlighted the disparity between the economic conditions in Canada and the European Union compared to the robust growth witnessed in the United States. He reiterated that monetary policy decisions are intricately linked to each country's domestic circumstances.


Macklem's observations come amidst growing anticipation among economists regarding the timing of interest rate adjustments, with expectations leaning towards earlier rate cuts in Canada compared to the United States. While the U.S. economy continues to surge forward, persistent inflationary pressures have delayed projections for rate adjustments by the Federal Reserve.


In contrast, the Canadian economic landscape presents a different picture, prompting economists to anticipate rate reductions by the Bank of Canada as early as June or July. Encouragement stems from the slowdown observed in core inflation, indicating a moderation in underlying price pressures after accounting for volatility.


The latest consumer price index report from Statistics Canada revealed a marginal uptick in the annual inflation rate for March, primarily fueled by increases in gasoline prices. However, other inflationary pressures eased during the same period, signaling a nuanced trajectory.


Macklem acknowledged the positive trends highlighted in the March report, particularly the narrowing scope of inflation across various sectors of the economy and the deceleration of core measures. He expressed optimism about the direction of these developments.


The governor's remarks coincided with his first media appearance following the tabling of the federal budget by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. Responding to queries about the potential impact of the budget on inflation, Macklem noted that the overall fiscal outlook had not undergone significant alterations.


However, he refrained from offering a direct assessment of the budget's influence on inflation, emphasizing the need for a thorough analysis of the spending measures. Macklem commended the government's commitment to maintaining fiscal discipline, a stance he deemed conducive to economic stability.


Looking ahead, Macklem affirmed the Bank of Canada's intention to scrutinize the budgetary measures in greater detail to assess their broader implications on inflation. He underscored the importance of aligning fiscal policies with the established economic guardrails, highlighting their role in supporting a stable economic trajectory.


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