Canada News Agency

Canada's central bank keeps interest rate at 1.75 percent

The Bank of Canada announced on Wednesday to keep its interest rate unchanged at 1.75 percent.
 
The Canadian central bank also downgraded its forecast economic growth to 1.2 percent in 2019 from 1.7 percent announced In January because of a slowdown in Canada's oil sector, the negative impact of global trade policies and a weaker-than-expected housing sector.
 
That is why the bank is keeping its rate low, to help stimulate the economy, it said.
 
The bleak outlook caused the value of the Canadian dollar to lose half a cent, to trade 0.74 U.S. dollar after the bank's announcement.
 
Despite its downgrade of economic growth, the central bank said it still expects growth to pick up in the second half of 2019, as housing activity stabilizes and consumer consumption is underpinned by growth in employment income.
 
It expects the economy to build momentum through 2019 before returning to above-potential growth of 2.1 percent in 2020 and 2 percent in 2021.
 
After raising its interest rate five times since July 2017, the bank has kept its rate at 1.75 percent since October 2018.
 
Unlike its past announcements, the bank made no mention of a need for future increases of its interest rate on Wednesday's decision.