Bank of Canada says getting closer to point where QE will not be needed

OTTAWA, Sept 9 (Reuters) - The Canadian economy is moving closer to a point where the Bank of Canada will no longer need to continue adding stimulus through its quantitative easing (QE) program, but it is not there yet, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Thursday.

Macklem, in a speech the day after the central bank held its key rate at 0.25%, said it would eventually move to a reinvestment phase, where it bought only enough bonds to replace those that are maturing. This maintains stimulus but does not add new stimulus.

When the time comes to start reducing the amount of stimulus, the Bank will start doing so by hiking rates, said Macklem, noting the reinvestment phase would continue until at least the first hike.

"As the recovery progresses, we are moving closer to a time when continuing to add stimulus through QE will no longer be necessary. We are not there yet," Macklem said.

"It is reasonable to expect that when we reach the reinvestment phase, we will remain there for a period of time, at least until we raise the policy interest rate," he said.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon and David Ljunggren)

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