Mortgage Basics

Bank of Canada Policy Interest Rate Schedule

Bank of Canada Policy Interest Rate Schedule

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    CURRENT POLICY INTEREST RATE: (Updated April 17, 2024)

    Whether you’re a homeowner, homebuyer, or are just looking to own some real estate, you’ve probably heard of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate announcements and the anticipation surrounding them. 

    In this post, we will examine the Bank of Canada’s interest rate announcements, why they occur, and the rate announcement dates in 2024.


    Key Takeaways

    • As the country’s central bank, the Bank of Canada is responsible for setting the target to the overnight rate, also known as the policy interest rate.
    • The target overnight rate represents the starting point for all interest rates in the country.
    • Bank of Canada policy rate announcements follow a predetermined schedule 8 times each year.

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    What to Expect from a Bank of Canada Announcement

    The Bank of Canada is responsible for the nation’s monetary policy, and part of this job is setting the target to the overnight rate, also known as the policy interest rate. When headlines talk about the “Bank of Canada announcement,” it typically refers to any changes made to this rate by the BoC.

    The target overnight rate represents the benchmark for all interest rates in the country, including the prime rates set by banks and lenders, known as the prime rate. When the BoC rate changes, all variable and adjustable mortgage rates change accordingly. Following a period of historically low rates, the Bank of Canada began to increase its rate in 2022, and rates have remained high ever since.

    Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement Schedule

    Bank of Canada rate announcements follow a set schedule for the entire year. Here is the Bank of Canada interest rate announcement schedule.

    Announcement Dates 2024

    • Wednesday, January 24 (press release)
    • Wednesday, March 6 (press release)
    • Wednesday, April 10 (press release)
    • Wednesday, June 5
    • Wednesday, July 24
    • Wednesday, September 4
    • Wednesday, October 23
    • Wednesday, December 11

    Announcement Dates 2023

    Where Rates Stand in April 2024

    In April, the Bank of Canada maintained rates once again. This was expected as economic growth slowed and inflation eased. The economic outlook shows consumer spending has declined due to high interest rates and prices, weak growth stabilizing supply and demand, and contracting business investments, which have all contributed to stagnant economic growth. Growth is projected to remain close to 0 throughout the first quarter. 

    The Governing Council held the policy rate given the economic outlook. However, they are still concerned about persistent underlying inflation. They will need to see further easing in inflation before they can discuss lowering rates. 

    Will a Bank Of Canada Interest Rate Hike Happen in June 2024?

    Looking forward to the next announcement on June 5th, we predict that the Bank of Canada will likely issue the first rate cut of the year. Most predictions indicate we could see a 25 basis point cut at this announcement. While another rate hold is also a likely possibility considering the current economic climate, the chances of a rate cut are always subject to change due to fluctuating macroeconomic factors, such as inflation, labour market, GDP growth, and strength or weakness in the US economy.

    Should We Expect Rate Increases in 2024?

    While the Bank of Canada’s effort to control inflation continues, rate increases in 2024 are unlikely. Most economists are pricing in rate cuts for the June announcement, though this is subject to change based on inflation, employment, and GDP data released over the coming months. 

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    Where to Find Bank of Canada’s Historical Interest Rate Changes

    The Bank of Canada lists the last 12 historical interest rate changes and offers the option to look up how rates have changed over the past 10 years. These changes directly affect the country’s housing market and affordability, but learning to manage your expectations concerning the BoC rate changes is key, especially if you are currently planning to enter the real estate market. 

    Date Target (%) Change (%)
    April 10th, 2024 5.00 No Change
    March 6th, 2024 5.00 No Change
    January 24, 2024 5.00 No Change
    December 6, 2023 5.00 No Change
    October 25, 2023 5.00 No Change
    September 6, 2023 5.00 No Change
    July 12, 2023 5.00 +0.25
    June 7, 2023 4.75 +0.25
    April 12, 2023 4.50 No Change
    March 8, 2023 4.50 No Change
    January 25, 2023 4.50 +0.25
    December 7, 2022 4.25 +0.50
    October 26, 2022 3.75 +0.50
    September 7, 2022 3.25 +0.75
    July 13, 2022 2.50 +1.00
    June 1, 2022 1.50 +0.50
    April 13, 2022 1.00 +0.50
    March 2, 2022 0.50 +0.25
    January 26, 2022 0.25 No Change
    December 8, 2021 0.25 No Change

    Where to Find Bank of Canada’s Monetary Policy Reports

    When the Bank of Canada announces policy rates, it also releases a quarterly monetary policy report. These reports assess the global and Canadian economies and summarize the reasoning behind the Bank of Canada’s decisions. 

    The data presented covers a wide range of perspectives, including the status of the Canadian dollar, the state of inflation, overall consumption, housing, exports, imports, and projections of how we can expect the economy to perform in the future.

    Final Thoughts

    The Bank of Canada’s policy rate decisions directly affect the country’s housing market, which in turn affects housing affordability. By managing your expectations in light of upcoming BoC rate changes, you’ll be in a much better position, especially if you’re looking to enter the real estate market soon. 

    For more personalized advice that better matches your financial circumstances, contact one of nesto’s mortgage experts today, who can help you understand what changes in interest rates mean for your mortgage qualifying amount.

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