Bank of Canada Announces End To Many Market Supports, Suggests QE Taper: BMO

The Canadian economy is improving faster than expected, meaning supports can start fading. Bank of Canada (BoC) deputy governor Gravelle announced the end of many market support programs on Tuesday. The economy has improved, meaning the gradual withdrawal of stimulus can now begin. As supports begin to taper, overly easy credit is likely to disappear as well.

Most Emergency Market Supports To End By May

The BoC will end market support, finding there’s more than enough liquidity. In a note to institutions, BMO macro strategist Benjamin Reitzes said, “the remaining market support programs will conclude as scheduled and as expected over the coming weeks and months.” If everything goes smoothly from here, that would see the following programs end: 

  • Apr  2 :  The Commercial Paper Purchase Program (CPPP)
  • Apr  6 :  Contingent Term Repo Facility (CTRF)
  • May 7 : Provincial Bond Purchase Program (PBPP)
  • May 10: Term repo operations will end, with the final operation on May 4
  • May 26: Corporate Bond Purchasing Program (CBPP) 

BoC Does Not Plan To Liquidate Assets Soon

One major concern has been, if the central bank ends support — will it liquidate the assets? Ending the purchasing of the assets means no longer adding liquidity to the market. Selling these assets would mean removing liquidity from the market. The latter doesn’t appear to be a near-term concern, as many expected.

The strategist called attention to the BoC’s statement on asset liquidation today. “The Bank does not currently plan to sell any of the securities acquired under these programs,” said Reitzes. “This isn’t a surprise either, but could ease some potential angst related to the possibility (even if remote) of potential selling.”

Tapering Quantitative Ease

The biggest takeaway is QE will begin to taper soon. “On the QE front, Mr. Gravelle’s speech should serve to reinforce that tapering is coming in April. When discussing the relative size of the BoC’s QE program, he initially says that the program is in line with international peers as a share of GDP.” 

Reitzes also notes, “[Gravelle] then goes on to say that ‘By another measure, however, our purchases stand out. Our GoC bond purchases since last March represent a little over 35 percent of the total amount of GoC bonds that are outstanding—by far the highest among this group of central banks.’”

If government spending “falls heavily as expected,” tapering would be needed as the ratio scales. Reitzes also mentions the size of bond buying is actually closer to 40%, but who’s counting?

Tapering Could Mean An End To Easy Money

Tightening the slack on loose monetary policy often has an adjustment period. Since asset prices are based on future expectations, asset prices may need to adjust. Even though policy will only tighten slowly, the expectation of easy money will fade.

As Reitzes observed, “The initial market reaction was selling, pushing GoC yields higher and provincial spreads wider, but that was an overreaction to headlines as these moves we fully expected. The market quickly retraced most of those moves.” 

Earlier this month RBC economist Josh Nye said he was watching for a taper to occur in April. If this happens, he believes it’s a sign the economy is recovering faster than expected. In that case, he sees the BoC revising their outlook. This can mean rates will rise sooner than expected.

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  • Teddy 3 years ago

    Future expectation = easy growth is lower = multiples fall.

    The rate move was priced in when yields spiked a few weeks back. Credit growth will be slowly choked..

    Most people forget interest rates are only one part in the input of lending. The other is incentive to lend, and not lose to inflation.

  • Mortgage Guy 3 years ago

    All major banks raised their uninsured mortgage rates above 2% today. Generationally cheap debt is now over. Remains to be seen what that means for generationally expensive home prices.

  • SH 3 years ago

    This taper won’t last. As soon as the coddled Boomers start shrieking at the prospect of their unearned paper wealth declining by 0.0001%, the BoC will turn on the taps once more.

    • Sam 3 years ago

      Damned…..I was going to order special polish from Germany for the vintage corvette in my garage….and send in my Ferrari for detailing….

      A declineof 0.0001%? Unacceptable…..time to mobilize the voting machine…..

      • SH 3 years ago

        If Millennials ever wake up and start aggressively voting in their generation’s interests, I can imagine that the Boomers will simply lobby the government to raise the voting age to 60.

    • You Will Own Nothing And Be Happy 3 years ago

      Boomers have nothing to worry about. Policy makers don’t have the cahones to let this market correct. Canada is too dependent on housing for it’s economy. If house crashes, for example 40% or so, the effects would be so disastrous that we’d slip into a deep recession. They have no choice but to keep this fake credit based economy going. Watch what happens if houses prices drop even 10% they will panic and start printing money like crazy.

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