Bank of Canada Says Rates Are Too Stimulative, Downplays 75 Bps Hike

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The Bank of Canada's policy rate, at 1%, is "too stimulative" given soaring inflation and needs to return to more neutral levels "quickly," an official said on Thursday, while downplaying the likelihood of a supersized increase, Reuters reported. Deputy Governor Toni Gravelle, speaking to economists in Montreal, also said the central bank would likely revise up its near-term inflation projections, as the "perfect storm" of global and domestic price increases continue to persist. "Our policy rate, at 1%, is too stimulative, especially when inflation is running significantly above the top of our control range," Gravelle said. "We need our policy rate to be at more neutral levels." Inflation in Canada hit a 31-year high at 6.7% in March, its 12th consecutive month above the Bank of Canada's 1-3% control range and more than triple the 2% target. He said the central bank was moving quickly to get back to the neutral range - between 2% and 3% - and reiterated it was prepared "to be as forceful as needed" to cool demand. Read more.