The Bank of Canada (BoC) released its latest summary of deliberations this week, and, in a welcomed turn of events, has finally given Canadians a clue about rate cuts to come.

Although the Bank is maintaining (as it has for some time) that it’s “still too early” to consider lowering the policy interest rate, it also said that “recent inflation data suggested monetary policy is working largely as expected,” which bodes well for cuts to come.

“[Governing Council] members agreed that if the economy evolves in line with the Bank’s projection, the conditions for rate cuts should materialize over the course of this year,” the BoC said on Wednesday. “However, there was some diversity of views among Governing Council members about when there would likely be enough evidence that these conditions were in place, and how to weight the risks to the outlook.”

As for the housing piece of the puzzle, Governing Council has reportedly “expressed concern that the housing market continued to pose upside risks to the inflation outlook,” and members have “discussed how they should consider the impact of persistently high shelter cost increases, which could make it more difficult to get inflation all the way back to 2%.”

The Bank also indicated that they recognize that rate hikes “have pushed up mortgage interest costs,” which have, in turn, driven up shelter price inflation. They expect higher mortgage interest costs to persist given the mortgage renewal cycle.

But the effect of that cycle isn't expected to have a “permanent” effect on CPI inflation: “Members agreed that if mortgage interest costs were the only component holding up inflation, there could be some capacity to look through them, so as not to unduly restrain economic activity to get headline inflation back to 2%,” the Bank said.

“However, this was not the current situation,” it added. “Most components of shelter inflation, such as rent and expenses related to home ownership (including insurance, taxes, and repairs), were still rising significantly in January. Moreover, recent data had made it clear that inflationary pressures were still broad-based, and underlying inflation had yet to show sustained downward momentum.”

With all of this said, the consensus amongst experts is that a rate cut is coming — and sooner rather than later. BMO's Douglas Porter says that a cut next month isn’t out of the question, while RBC’s Claire Fan forecasts that the first cut of the cycle will come by mid-year. Although BoC Governor Tiff Macklem and his gang continue to be coy when it comes to specific timings, Wednesday's deliberations seem to indicate that they will soon be ready to show their cards.