Canada rate cut clearly driven by oil price drop - finance minister

Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:11am EST
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DAVOS, Switzerland Jan 21 (Reuters) - Canada's Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Wednesday that a decision by the country's central bank to cut interest rates had been clearly influenced by a decline in the price of oil.

Ending the longest period of unchanged rates since 1950, the central bank cut the overnight rate to 0.75 percent from 1 percent, where it had been since September 2010, and it dramatically slashed its inflation and growth outlook for the coming year.

Oliver declined to offer a judgement on the wisdom of the decision, citing central bank independence, but told a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the oil price had "clearly influenced" the move. (Reporting by Noah Barkin)