Disruptive technologies create new challenges for interest rate decisions: Poloz

Stephen Poloz said Canadians need not fear the new digital age

Disruptive technologies are making it harder to determine whether, and how quickly, to raise interest rates, the governor of the Bank of Canada said in a speech Thursday.

But Stephen Poloz said Canadians need not fear the new digital age and, in fact, he adds they are already benefiting from it, and embracing it.

“The technology is enabling growth everywhere, including in industries that have not traditionally been considered high tech,” Poloz told the Atlantic Provinces Economics Council and Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce.

But Poloz said digital disruption, overall, is producing a positive impact on the economy.

He pointed to the computer system design sector as a prime example, noting it has grown by seven per cent annually over the past five years and now accounts for nearly two per cent of Canada’s economic output.

“To put this into context, the computer system design sector is already more important to the economy than the auto and aerospace sectors combined,” Poloz said in a speech that also noted the Canadian economy has fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis and the 2014 oil-price collapse.

Canada also now has the world’s third-largest concentration of researchers in the field of artificial intelligence, he said, with foreign direct investment coming into the country increasingly skewed toward high tech.

Digital disruption is just as much a factor in deciding monetary policy as inflation and the ongoing concerns around global trade uncertainty, Poloz added.

But new digital technologies, in particular, could be giving the economy more room to grow before inflation pressures emerge, he said.

“Raising interest rates too quickly could choke off this economic growth unnecessarily,” the governor said, adding it makes monetary policy even more data dependent.

At the same time, uncertainty is no excuse for inaction in deciding whether to raise interest rates, Poloz said.

“What it does mean is that we will move rates toward a more neutral level gradually, continuously updating our judgement on these key issues in real time,” he said.

The Bank of Canada held its trend-setting interest rate at 1.5 per cent earlier this month but is widely expected to raise the rate at its next scheduled announcement on Oct. 24.

Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public next week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

40-year Big Brother match a gift to Lacombe man

Andy Pawlyk and his Little Brother Chris Selathamby honoured at BBBS Awards Night

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Most Read