According to HSBC’s chief economist, the wars in the Canadian mortgage market that have surged over the past month have subsided. “Last year Canadian banks presented solid results, primarily thanks to their strong retail banking businesses and growth in loan portfolios,” said Diane Kazarian, PricewaterhouseCooper’s Canadian financial services leader. “However, 2012 may see slowing growth in consumer credit markets and continued pressure on margins as banks battle for market share.”
The report by Capital Economics suggested that Canada’s economy is slowing down and that it, together with the addition of a weaker housing market, will drive the Bank of Canada to cut interest rates. "We expect home resales and renovations to decline in the coming quarters, with falling house prices eventually discouraging new construction as well,” David Madani said in the report. “We expect weaker housing activity to have serious negative implications for domestic demand growth, eventually prompting the Bank of Canada to cut interest rates.”
He doesn’t expect the Bank will change its rates in its closest meeting on March 8th, but he is quite confident that Canada will end this year with the benchmark interest rate falling to 0.5 per cent. On the other hand, Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist with RBC, claims the central bank will maintain rates at 1.00 per cent until at least 2013.