November 16, 2017 Factors Behind the 2014 Oil Price DeclineOil prices have declined sharply over the past three years. While both supply and demand factors played a role in the large oil price decline of 2014, global supply growth seems to have been the predominant force. The most important drivers were likely the surprising growth of US shale oil production, the output decisions of the Organization of the Petro-leum Exporting Countries and the weaker-than-expected global growth that followed the 2009 global financial crisis.
November 16, 2017 Acceptance and Use of Payments at the Point of Sale in CanadaMerchants universally accept cash. Consumers widely hold cash but also carry debit and credit cards. The cost of using a method of payment has only a small influence on which method consumers use. Large merchants accept all payments, while only two-thirds of small and medium-sized businesses accept credit cards. Merchants report that credit cards are the costliest payment method compared with cash and debit cards. However, costs are not the only consideration. Merchant acceptance of credit accounts for the many con-sumers that want to use credit cards. This interaction between consumers and merchants is known as network externalities.
November 16, 2017 An Update on the Neutral Rate of InterestThe neutral rate serves as a benchmark for measuring monetary stimulus and provides a medium- to long-run anchor for the real policy rate. Global neutral rate estimates have been falling over the past few decades. Factors such as population aging, high corporate savings, and low trend productivity growth are likely to continue supporting a low global neutral rate. These global factors as well as domestic factors are exerting downward pres-sure on the Canadian real neutral rate, which is estimated to be between 0.5 to 1.5 per cent. This low neutral rate has important implications for monetary policy and financial stability.
November 16, 2017 An Initial Assessment of Changes to the Bank of Canada’s Framework for Market OperationsThe Bank of Canada made changes to several of the tools that make up its framework for operations and liquidity provision. These changes came about after a comprehensive re-view of the framework and are designed to help the Bank better achieve its objectives of reinforcing the target for the overnight rate and supporting the well-functioning of Cana-dian financial markets under normal market conditions.
While central banks cannot provide complete foresight with respect to their future policy actions, it is in the interests of both central banks and market participants that central banks be transparent about their reaction functions and how they may evolve in response to economic developments, shocks, and risks to their outlooks.
For central banks, conducting policy in an environment of uncertainty is a daily fact of life. This uncertainty can take many forms, ranging from incomplete knowledge of the correct economic model and data to future economic and geopolitical events whose precise magnitudes and effects cannot be known with certainty.
In this paper, we analyze the presence of time variation in the pass-through from the nominal effective exchange rate to import prices for 24 advanced economies over the period 1995–2015. In line with earlier studies in the literature, we find substantial heterogeneity in the level of exchange rate pass-through across countries.
In the past few years, many have postulated that the possible disinflationary effects of digitalization could explain the subdued inflation in advanced economies. In this note, we review the evidence found in the literature. We look at three main channels.