The Canadian dollar will strengthen in the coming year, analysts interviewed by journalists believe. This version is supported by the fact that the Bank of Canada is potentially aggressively raising interest rates. Nevertheless, growth may be limited by the economy's dependence on the housing market.
Analyst predict strengthening of the Canadian dollar
The average forecast of the survey showed expectations of a 0.4% increase in the Canadian dollar to 1.25 per US dollar, or 80 US cents, in three months, which is in line with last month's forecast. The growth estimate forecast for the year was $1.23.
If tensions between Russia and Ukraine ease over the next few months, there will be "a reason for a little more risk trading, which would be beneficial for the Canadian dollar," Royce Mendes said, and noted that these same factors will force the Bank of Canada to play a little more aggressively.
The central bank of Canada is expected to raise its overnight interest rate by half a percent at its next policy meeting on April 13, according to median economists' forecasts. They also sharply increased their forecasts of domestic inflation for this year.
Recall that the Bank of Canada has not raised rates by this amount since May 2000. But last month, the central bank raised the rate by a quarter of a percentage point, which it usually prefers, for the first time since October 2018.
Since the Ukrainian crisis has spurred demand for the US dollar-a haven, the Canadian dollar has not benefited as much as usual from rising oil prices. But this may change as the oil market is now being globally restructured.
"I think there is still room for growth as investors digest some of the positive impact of higher commodity prices on the Canadian economy," said Stephen Brown, senior economist for Canada.
Canada is a major energy producer, thanks to which exports reached a record high in February. Economists expect further export growth.
But another key part of the economy, the housing market, has started to lose its momentum.
In addition, this in itself may be an early sign that there are limits to how much the Bank of Canada will be willing to raise rates in the current tightening cycle, at least compared to the Federal Reserve.
"The recovery in Canada is much more dependent on housing investment and housing prices in general, and obviously they are more sensitive to higher interest rates," Brown said, referring to the comparison with US markets.
However, a moderate rise in prices may force some Canadians to purchase real estate as a refuge, as well as in order to reduce rent costs, as well as spur the primary housing construction sector, eventually turning into a positive increase in GDP.