Canada central bank holds key lending rate at 0.5%


OTTAWA — Canada’s central bank maintained its key lending rate at 0.5 percent Wednesday, citing uncertainty dampening investment and business confidence in the country’s major trading partners, despite a strengthening global economy. Trade is crucial for the Canadian economy, and exports — with the exception of oil and gas shipments — “continue to disappoint,” the Bank of Canada said in a statement. However, domestic consumption has been robust, bolstered by a new monthly government stipend to families with children, it added. Employment also continued to grow.

But billions of dollars pledged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for new roads, transit and other infrastructure have not yet made an impact on the nation’s gross domestic product.