OTTAWA – The Bank of Canada will update its economic projections today for the first time since a huge wildfire shuttered Alberta oilsands facilities and Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Central bank governor Stephen Poloz will also make his scheduled announcement on the bank’s benchmark interest rate, which is widely expected to stay at its rock-bottom level of 0.5 per cent.
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Poloz has estimated the economic impact of the wildfire that erupted in May will trim at least one percentage point from annualized second quarter growth – and that it could contribute to a slight contraction.
Poloz has also suggested the United Kingdom’s stunning decision last month to exit the EU could have an effect on Canada.
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After the referendum result, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told Canadians to expect some volatility, but he insisted Canada’s banks were well-funded and global markets were resilient.
In a speech last month before the so-called Brexit vote, Poloz said Canada’s economy was finally making progress after limping through the effects of the slow U.S. recovery, a period of weak exports and the slump in commodity prices.