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Doubts grow over June interest rate cut after big gains seen in jobs report



Speculations regarding a potential interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada in June have dwindled following a remarkable surge in employment figures, as revealed by the latest report from Statistics Canada.


Last month, employment skyrocketed by an impressive 90,000, significantly surpassing the expectations of forecasters and marking the most substantial increase in employment in over a year. Despite this surge, the unemployment rate remained steady at 6.1 percent, with the bulk of the employment gains stemming from part-time positions.


James Orlando, TD's director of economics, expressed astonishment at the headline jobs figure, emphasizing that it exceeded all forecasts. The unexpected surge in April's employment numbers has cast doubt on the likelihood of an interest rate cut in June, a move that financial markets had been anticipating.


While economists had been anticipating a potential reduction in the policy rate by the central bank in either June or July, the recent employment data has injected a level of uncertainty into these predictions. TD, for instance, now anticipates the first interest rate cut to materialize in July rather than June, allowing the Bank of Canada more time to assess the economic landscape thoroughly.


Despite the positive employment figures, wage growth saw a slight deceleration, dropping to an annual pace of 4.7 percent in April from 5.1 percent in March. BMO chief economist Douglas Porter noted the resilience of the economy, suggesting that while the Bank of Canada may consider short-term trends, it will likely prioritize longer-term indicators when making its decision.


The upcoming inflation report for April is expected to play a pivotal role in determining the central bank's course of action. Should inflation continue to trend downwards, it may open the door for a potential interest rate cut in June. However, economists caution that the Bank of Canada will need to consider a holistic view of the economy before making any decisions.


As Canada awaits the Bank of Canada's next interest rate decision scheduled for June 5, the nation grapples with the broader economic implications of higher interest rates and their impact on growth and employment. While the recent surge in job growth offers a glimmer of hope, the road ahead remains uncertain, with inflation dynamics poised to influence the central bank's monetary policy decisions.


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