* Carney omits previous language on possible rate hikes
* Carney raises possibility of acting against personal debt
By Jennifer Kwan
NANAIMO, British Columbia, Oct 15 Bank of Canada
Governor Mark Carney said on Monday the central bank would do
whatever is necessary to stick to its 2 percent inflation target
in the face of extreme global uncertainty but made no mention of
possible interest rate hikes.
Since April Carney - alone among his Group of Seven peers -
has regularly talked about the possible need to raise rates from
near-record lows as the economy recovers, even as data showed
Canada was being hurt by challenges in Europe and the United
"The Bank will take whatever action is appropriate to
achieve the 2 percent CPI (consumer price index) inflation
target over the medium term," Carney said in the second speech
in a row he has made without talking about eventual rate hikes.
As recently as Oct. 4, senior deputy governor Tiff Macklem
repeated the Bank's line that some withdrawal of the
"considerable monetary policy stimulus" might become
Despite sounding more dovish about the economic outlook,
Carney also highlighted the bank's possible role in leaning
against asset bubbles, the strongest suggestion yet that he may
be considering action aimed directly at curbing household debt.
"While we obviously cannot determine events over which we
have no control, we can be transparent about what we expect and
how we would react to different scenarios," he said.
"That includes being clear about the role of monetary policy
in supporting financial stability in Canada. For example, if we
were to lean against emerging imbalances in household debt, we
would clearly declare we are doing so and indicate how long we
expect it would take for inflation to return to the 2 percent
target," he added.
Revised data on Monday showed the household debt-to-income
ratio was far higher than previously thought. Carney has called
the debt burden the biggest domestic risk to financial stability
in Canada. [I D:nL1E8LFC62]
Since the global financial crisis, he has emphasized that
the bank's mandate allows it to use monetary policy to prevent
bubbles even if it means inflation takes longer than usual to
return to the target.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters unanimously expect the central
bank to hold its overnight lending target unchanged at 1.0
percent on Oct. 23, and predicted it would resume hiking rates
in the second half of next year.
Carney said there was some evidence global uncertainty was
hitting the Canadian economy. The Bank's quarterly monetary
policy report, due out on Oct. 24, would take into account this
uncertainty, he added.
The bank uses the report to revise its domestic and global