The Canadian economy rose 0.2% in January, up for the eighth consecutive month. Goods-producing sectors rose 0.8% while services-producing industries remained flat on Omicron-related restrictions. Canadian real GDP is roughly 0.4 per cent above its pre-pandemic, February 2020 level. Preliminary estimates suggest that output in the Canadian economy grew 0.8% in February.
With a high preliminary estimate for February, the Canadian economy appears to be on a strong growth path as it emerges from the Omicron-related slowdown. The Bank of Canada has noted that the slack in the Canadian economy is largely absorbed, which is partly why it hiked rates from 0.25% to 0.5% in early March. Amid strong GDP growth and high inflation, the expectation is that the bank will again raise rates at its upcoming announcement on April 13th by another 0.25% or even 0.5%. BCREA forecasts that the bank will continue raising rates until the overnight policy rate reaches 1.75 per cent, the level which prevailed prior to the COVID-19 crisis.
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