Bank of Canada's Poloz says growth has disappointed

Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:12pm EDT
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By Louise Egan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Canada's economic growth has disappointed so far, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said on Friday, and he acknowledged his upbeat-sounding speech last month had caused some market confusion over the bank's outlook that needed correcting.

"It's fair to say that growth has disappointed us to this stage. We are behind where we thought we would be, say a year ago or for that matter six months ago," Poloz said at a news conference following a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 nations.

"But still the signs continue to encourage, almost teasing you because it's a little bit better but not as much better as you were hoping," he said.

Poloz delivered a speech last month that was seen as surprisingly cheery because he said the economy was at a "tipping point" from improving confidence into expanding capacity.

Less than two weeks later, Senior Deputy Governor Tiff Macklem sounded decidedly gloomier and sharply cut the bank's forecast for third-quarter growth.

Nonetheless, Poloz said the two men had identical views.

"We collaborate fully on all those things, and we were actually both saying the same thing," Poloz said.

He said his own speech took a longer view, looking at the early signs of transition into a full recovery that did not rely on low interest rates. Macklem, on the other hand, was explaining how the bank would deal with unpredictable data in the short term.   Continued...

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz takes part in a news conference upon the release of the Monetary Policy Report in Ottawa July 17, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie