More rate hikes on way?


And when it comes to the trade risks, House said the central bank has likely been reassured by the positive performances of key economic indicators over the last six months, notwithstanding the intense uncertainty surrounding the Canada-U.S. relationship and the volatility that comes with it.

The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 ½ per cent.

The Bank of Canada says persistent trade uncertainty and Canada's tariff fight with the United States will shave almost 0.7 per cent from economic growth by the end of 2020 - but it predicts the blow to be largely offset by the positive impact of higher oil prices.

But Mortgages of Canada CEO Samantha Brookes says those with variable-rate mortgages will now face higher interest payments, a concern for many Canadian households that are already saddled with hefty debt loads.

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The bank's relatively sanguine view of the trade risk boosted the Canadian dollar to its strongest in almost four weeks, and economists said they expected the central bank to hike again by year end. In particular, the trade impacts were caused by the Trump administration's recent steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and, in response, Ottawa's retaliatory duties on USA imports.

The bank expects the negative blow of the trade policies to be largely offset by higher oil prices and the stronger US economy - both of which, on balance, will benefit Canada.

Canadian businesses must also contend with the uncertainty surrounding the hard renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, for which talks have stalled.

The Bank of Canada is also releasing its quarterly update of projections, which predicts slightly stronger growth in both 2019 and 2020, compared with its outlook in April.

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The rates had previously been set at 3.45 per cent. The bank had been criticized for a surprise rate hike last September.

Many economists anticipate several more hikes this year and in 2019.

The Bank of Canada raised its target for the overnight rate a quarter-point to 1.5 per cent Wednesday.

So what does the rate hike mean for Canadians?

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