The Canadian economy expanded at a 2 per cent rate in the third quarter, led by strong export volumes. On the downside, household spending slowed, residential investment fell 1.5 per cent and business investment also declined following six consecutive quarterly increases.
Although economic growth was relatively strong in the third quarter, the underlying trends in household spending and in residential and business investment are not encouraging. Those trends, along with a struggling Alberta oil sector, the prolonged impacts of the mortgage stress test, and the recent GM plant closure in Ontario should mean a pause in the Bank of Canada's rate tightening cycle. We anticipate the Bank will hold off on further rate increases until its April 2019 meeting, though inflation at target and the economy growing above trend does mean that the Bank's bias toward a higher policy rate remains in place.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.