The Bank of Canada does not intend to actively sell bonds when embarking on its first ever quantitative tightening program and will instead allow holdings to roll off as they mature, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Thursday.
Macklem, speaking to a business audience via webcast, did not give a time frame for starting QT, saying only that it “would be a natural next step” following a decision on Wednesday to hike interest rates for the first time in three years.
“When we initiate QT, we will stop purchasing Government of Canada bonds. From that point forward, maturing government bonds will not be replaced when they roll of the balance sheet,” he said. “We do not intend to actively sell bonds.”
In the current reinvestment phase, the Bank of Canada buys roughly C$1 billion a week worth of government bonds to keep the size of its balance sheet constant.
Macklem added the recent broadening in price pressures was a big concern and vowed the bank would use its monetary policy tools “with determination” to ensure that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored.
“The lesson from history is that if inflation expectations become unmoored, it becomes much more costly to get inflation back to target,” he said. Inflation hit a 30-year high in Canada in January at 5.1%.