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Bank of Canada set to provide update on economic outlook, decision on key rate

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada will publish its latest views on the state of the economy this morning, along with an update on its key interest rate.

The country's central bank is widely expected to keep the overnight lending rate unchanged at half a percentage point (0.5 per cent).

The Bank of Canada has already lowered the rate twice this year, in January and July, to stimulate the economy and offset some of the impact from a collapse in oil prices that began late last November.

Today's rate announcement will be accompanied by the bank's assessment of the economy, contained in the quarterly Monetary Policy Report.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz (POH’-lahz) will also hold a press conference on the report, his first since Monday's landslide election victory for the Liberal party under Justin Trudeau — who will replace Stephen Harper as prime minister.

Although Poloz was appointed by the Conservatives in 2013, he has followed the usual convention of remaining politically neutral in keeping with the Bank of Canada's role as a largely independent policy maker.

Poloz carefully avoided the politically charged word "recession" in July when the bank said it looked like the economy contracted in the second quarter — a finding later confirmed by Statistics Canada on Sept. 1.

During the federal election campaign that officially began on Aug. 2, Trudeau and the Liberals repeatedly said Canada was in a recession in the first half of 2015 while the Conservatives — including Finance Minister Joe Oliver — insisted the downturn over the first months of 2015 wasn't severe enough to be considered a true recession.

The Canadian Press

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