We examine the relative ability of simple inflation targeting (IT) and price level targeting (PLT) monetary policy rules to minimize both inflation variability and business cycle fluctuations in Canada for shocks that have important consequences for global commodity prices.Topics: Economic models; Inflation and prices; International topics; Monetary policy framework
We use a novel approach to identify economic developments that drive exchange rates in the long run. Using a panel of six quarterly U.S. bilateral real exchange rates – Australia, Canada, the euro, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – over the 1980-2007 period, a dynamic factor model points to two common factors.Topics: Econometric and statistical methods; Exchange rates
In 2006, the Bank initiated a research program exploring two alternatives to the current inflation-targeting framework: (i) lowering the inflation target and (ii) shifting to a price-level target. This article discusses progress to date, places the Bank's findings in the context of a broader literature, and identifies avenues for future research. Earlier literature and recent studies at the Bank suggest that an inflation target below two per cent is likely preferable to the status quo, though it is unclear how much lower policy-makers should aim and also how much Canadians would benefit from a shift. With regard to the price-level target, evidence is more mixed, with need for study concerning (i) the target's influence on contracting behaviour and inflation expectations; (ii) strategies for ensuring credibility in the commitment to price-level targeting; and (iii) the Canadian economy's vulnerability to shocks that the literature identifies as particularly detrimental to the target's performance.Topics: Central bank research; Economic models; Inflation and prices; Inflation targets; Inflation: costs and benefits; Monetary policy framework
This paper compares the performance of simple inflation targeting (IT) and price-level path targeting (PLPT) rules to stabilize the macroeconomy, in response to a series of shocks, similar to those seen in Canada and the United States over the 1983 to 2004 period. The analysis is conducted in a two-country (Canada and the United States), [...]Topics: Economic models; Inflation and prices; Inflation: costs and benefits; Monetary policy framework
Coletti and Lalonde compare inflation targeting and price-level targeting in the context of a small open economy subject to sizable terms-of-trade shocks. The authors summarize recent research that compares the ability of price-level targeting and inflation targeting to stabilize the macroeconomy when confronted with shocks similar to those experienced by Canada in recent years. Their preliminary results suggest that price-level targeting may represent a feasible alternative to traditional inflation targeting. Their article also provides insight into the direction of current research in this area at the Bank.Topics: Central bank research; Inflation and prices; Monetary policy framework
A nation's productivity is the prime determinant of its real incomes and standard of living, as well as being a major determinant of its potential output. In the short run, deviations of actual output from potential output are a useful indicator of inflationary pressures. This article is a short summary of the proceedings of the workshop, which focus on productivity and potential output growth among industrialized countries. The research is organized under three main themes: estimating potential growth; productivity and growth; and institutions, policies, and growth.Topics: International topics; Potential output; Productivity
The conduct of monetary policy within an inflation-targeting framework requires the establishment of an inflation-target horizon, which is the average time it takes inflation to return to the target. Policy-makers have an interest in communicating this horizon, since it is likely to help anchor inflation expectations. This article focuses on the determination of the appropriate policy horizon by reporting on two recent Bank of Canada studies. The evidence suggests that the current target horizon of six to eight quarters remains appropriate. It is important to note that the duration of the optimal inflation-target horizon varies widely, depending on the combination of shocks to the economy. In rare cases when the financial accelerator is triggered by a persistent shock, such as an asset-price bubble, it may be appropriate to take a longer view of the inflation-target horizon.Topics: Inflation targets; Monetary policy framework; Transmission of monetary policy
The 2002 Bank of Canada Conference focused on price adjustment, a critically important issue for monetary policy. Given the acceptance throughout the 1990s and 2000s of the existence of price stickiness in goods or labour markets, or both, and of the important role that monetary policy can play in an economy, the time was right for a conference that would focus on current developments in this area of research, particularly within a Canadian context. Conference papers covering both theoretical and empirical studies explored such themes as sources of the persistence of inflation, forward-looking models of inflation, models of inflation in open economies, the macroeconomic effects of technology shocks, and models of the interaction between wages, prices, and real economic outcomes.
This article examines another strategy in the Bank's approach to dealing with an uncertain world: the use of carefully articulated models to produce economic forecasts and to examine the implications of the various risks to those forecasts. Economic models are deliberate simplifications of a complex world that allow economists to make predictions that are reasonably accurate and that can be easily understood and communicated. By using several models, based on competing paradigms, the Bank minimizes policy errors that could result from relying on one view of the world and one philosophy of model design. The authors review some of the models currently used at the Bank, as well as the role of judgment in the projection process.Topics: Economic models
This paper examines the implications of changes in economic behaviour for simple inflation-forecast–based monetary rules of the type currently used at two inflation-targeting central banks. Three types of changes in economic behaviour are considered, changes that are motivated by developments in monetary and fiscal policy in the 1990s: changes in monetary policy credibility, changes in [...]Topics: Credibility; Monetary policy framework; Uncertainty and monetary policy
The federal government and the Bank of Canada have been committed for some time to achieving and maintaining price stability as a way to foster a rising standard of living for all Canadians. To support this objective, the inflation-control target range of 1 to 3 per cent was recently extended through to the end of 2001. By then, the government and the Bank plan to announce a long-run target for monetary policy.
In this article, the authors provide an overview of the most recent empirical evidence on the benefits of lower inflation. They draw on an extensive earlier survey and on work presented at two recent conferences on price stability hosted by the Bank of Canada. They find that, when inflation and tax interactions are taken into account, there are large benefits to lowering inflation. When these benefits are compared with the transitional costs associated with lowering inflation, significant positive benefits remain. However, the authors note that the extension of the inflation-control targets to the end of 2001 allows further research to ensure an operational definition of price stability that will help Canadians achieve a high standard of living.Topics: Inflation: costs and benefits
The Bank of Canada's new Quarterly Projection Model, QPM, combines the short-term dynamic properties necessary to support regular economic projections with the consistent behavioural structure necessary for policy analysis.Topics: Economic models