On the heels of the first rate increase in 8 years, the US Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee (the Fed) opted to leave its target overnight rate unchanged at a range of 0.25 to 0.50 per cent. In the statement accompanying the Fed's decision, it was noted that with gradual adjustments to the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will continue to expand at a moderate pace and labour market indicators will continue to strengthen. The Fed expects that inflation will remain low in the near term, but slowly rise to 2 per cent over the medium term as the impact of low energy prices fades.
While early speculation was that the Fed would raise rates at least four times this year, a slowdown in the economy to end 2015 along with still tame inflation and volatility in financial markets will likely put monetary policymakers on a much more cautious footing. We expect that the Fed will raise rates a maximum of one more time in 2016 which should translate to very little upward pressure on Canadian bond yields and mortgage rates.
“Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.”