Canada’s central bank conceded that it misjudged the strength of the economic recovery and reduced its outlook for inflation.
This caused the dollar to dip to a six-month low near 99 cents US as the trend-setting interest rate is likely to remain unchanged for the rest of this year.
The central bank rate is one percent where it has been for more than two years.
“The direction is clear – the timing has shifted,” bank governor Mark Carney said, noting a “less imminent” need to raise rates.
The bank is “less worried” now about high levels of consumer debt and the housing market while inflation will remain around one percent.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said weaker growth for the global economy is “obviously a concern” and will have an impact on the pace of job creation.
Just two weeks after much of southern Canada had a heat wave with temperatures in the mid-50sF in the Toronto area, a deep chill arrived.
Mid-week overnight temperatures at -40F in the Northwest Territories and Rouyn, Quebec were the coldest in the world.
The wind chill made it feel that cold in Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa, where it was just -7F in the afternoon on Thursday.
The cold did allow for the opening of a two-mile stretch of the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway in the capital city.
Toronto was -4F overnight on Thursday, warming to 14F in the afternoon, while Churchill, Manitoba had a wind chill of -46F overnight and Vancouver was a balmy 42F by day.
The frigid Arctic air stretched into Atlantic Canada while warming began this weekend.
News in brief
Facts and figures
The Canadian dollar was lower Friday at 99.10 U.S. cents while the U.S. greenback returned $1.0090 in Canadian funds before bank exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3 percent.
Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index up at 12,825 points and the TSX Venture index lower at 1,226 points.
Lotto 6-49: (Jan. 23) 2, 5, 16, 25, 30 and 40; bonus 19. (Jan. 19) 1, 4, 6, 13, 20 and 44; bonus 28. Lotto Max: (Jan. 18) 8, 16, 17, 28, 32, 34 and 47; bonus 19.