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Economists react to Bank of Canada interest rate decision

The latest move by the Bank of Canada to maintain its interest rate at five per cent wasn't exactly breaking news for experts closely watching the economic indicators. It was the sixth time in a row that the rates remained unchanged. However, Governor Tiff Macklem hinted at the possibility of future cuts, suggesting that the conditions for such a move are taking shape but need to be sustained before any action is taken.

The decision to hold steady was in line with the predictions of economists, including Warren Lovely from National Bank Financial. He described the announcement as "pretty appropriate," noting that the central bank's stance has been a bit unpredictable compared to others but seemed to meet expectations this time.

Lovely highlighted the central bank's cautious approach, indicating that they are waiting for ongoing improvements before considering rate cuts. He suggested that if inflation trends as expected, a rate cut could be on the horizon, possibly in July or even June.

Tu Nguyen from RSM Canada echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of timely action to avoid repeating past mistakes. She pointed out the slowing inflation and weakening labor market, suggesting that a rate cut sooner rather than later could be beneficial.

Phil Mesman from Picton Mahoney Asset Management emphasized the challenge the Bank of Canada faces in balancing domestic economic indicators with the persistent inflationary pressures from the United States. The recent string of high U.S. inflation readings complicates the decision-making process for the central bank.

Brooke Thackray, a research analyst at Horizons ETFs, highlighted the dilemma facing the Bank of Canada amid lingering inflation concerns. He suggested that Governor Macklem may need more concrete evidence of inflationary control before making any rate adjustments.

Overall, economists are anticipating potential rate cuts in the near future, with the timing hinging on sustained progress in economic indicators and inflation trends. The Bank of Canada's decision-making process remains dynamic, influenced by both domestic and international economic factors.

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