April 17 (Reuters) - Below are key quotes from an appearance by Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney:
"The prices of commodities, in particular the prices of commodities that affect Canada, remain - even after these movements in the market - at elevated levels compared to their historic average."
"It is the Bank of Canada's position that the fundamentals of demand that still exist in emerging markets will persist for some time and as a result, commodity prices will stay a relatively high level compared to their historic average. But that isn't a prediction that these prices will increase sharply."
"Clearly, if there is a possibility of a rise in interest rates, it's not neutral. That's absolutely clear."
"Canadian businesses have been hiring, they've been responsible for the vast majority of full-time hiring in this country and above-average wages. There's a broader dynamic that needs to see more investment. Our view is that we're not going to see that acceleration in investment until we see that pickup in demand, the pickup that we're expecting. And we don't have that high a bar for it."
"We have a clear mandate for monetary policy, which is to achieve the inflation target, and clearly we're of the view that the stance of policy, policy where we will provide considerable monetary stimulus by keeping rates basically at the same level for a period of time then followed by an adjustment, an upward adjustment at some point and to some degree, unspecified degree, is the right strategy to achieve that inflation target and also to reinforce very important other measures that have been taken and are having effect, to ensure that our challenges, Canada's challenges, in housing and household debt are properly addressed."
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"Monetary policy is very stimulative. Policy rates are one percent and one of the reasons for that is the headwind coming from the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar."
"The bias has been adjusted over the course of the last year as the economy has adjusted with time. And we have tried to be very clear in our in reports, in our communiques, in our speeches, why that bias is in place. And in effect, what we're trying to communicate, both to market participants, but really to Canadians, (is) what are the factors that would influence the adjustment of interest rates."
"The likely outlook, or the likely prospect, is that interest rates will rise after a certain time in order to achieve the inflation target. And obviously the ultimate issue here is the achievement of the inflation target."
"One of the factors that does influence the path is the evolution of the housing market. The evolution of household balances. In this respect, monetary policy is complementary to other policies that have been taken - most notably by the federal government in adjusting mortgage insurance rules and also by OSFI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions) in tightening underwriting guidelines and it's supporting a constructive evolution of the housing market. That reality - and it's not all decided in terms of the full path of the housing market but we're encouraged by what we're seeing - that reality provides a longer horizon, a period of time before an adjustment would need to be made."
"Interest rates are 1 percent, we have a financial sector that is as resilient as any in the world. It's functioning very well, there is slack in the economy. We call it material slack, but it's not that big, and it's certainly not that big relative to other major economies."
"It's not a market we follow closely, the gold market. There are certainly special characteristics to that market ... at times it is a coincident or reaffirming indicator of risk aversion, gold certainly can be. You had a curious situation this week where there was an adjustment at a time when there was some surprise in economic data. I would say that was more reflective of the specific market dynamics within that market."
"But from a Bank of Canada perspective, there are a variety of other commodities which we follow more closely, not just because they are important for the Canadian economy - Canadian heavy crude and natural gas are two obvious examples, lumber prices is a third - but because they are more indicative and better leading indicators of global growth prospects, and one would point to some of the base metals in that regard."