Recent economic and financial developments

  • November 9, 1995

    The effect of foreign demand shocks on the Canadian economy: An analysis using QPM

    Historically, rapid and unsustainable increases in the demand for goods and services originating within the economies of Canada's major trading partners have had a significant impact on the domestic economy. These episodes are typically characterized by increases in world commodity prices and by a tightening of monetary conditions abroad to contain inflationary pressures. In this article, the author uses the Bank's quarterly projection model (QPM) (described in the autumn 1994 issue of the Review) to trace the mechanisms that transmit these foreign developments throughout the Canadian economy. In addition, he outlines the response that is required from domestic monetary authorities to maintain a target rate of inflation.
  • August 10, 1995

    Aspects of economic restructuring in Canada, 1989-1994

    The way in which Canadian firms produce goods and services has changed dramatically during the 1990s. A major feature of this restructuring has been a shift towards greater use of capital goods, particularly computer-based technology, relative to labour in production processes. The author examines this phenomenon from a macroeconomic perspective, identifying the principal factors behind the trends in investment and employment since the late 1980s. The analysis focusses on the relative costs of capital and labour over the period and on their implications for output and employment.
  • May 7, 1995

    Disinflation in the 1990s: The experience of the industrialized world

    Canada has not been alone in making substantial progress towards price stability. Average inflation in the industrialized countries fell markedly in the first half of the 1990s, the third such episode of broad-based disinflation in the last 20 years. By the latter part of 1994, inflation in many countries had fallen to rates that had not been sustained since the early 1960s, generally converging to within a range of 1 to 3 per cent. Despite the decline in inflation to similar low levels, there were a number of interesting developments across the industrialized countries. For example, the pace of disinflation slowed noticeably after 1992 despite continued weak demand conditions. Inflation in countries that experienced a sharp depreciation in their exchange rates in the first half of the 1990s was, on average, no higher than elsewhere. The author identifies various factors affecting inflation outcomes in the industrialized countries. These include special factors, such as changes to indirect taxes, as well as more fundamental determinants of inflation, including the degree of economic slack. The presence of these factors, and perhaps the way in which inflation responded to them, varied across countries. One common element, however, was an increased commitment by monetary authorities across the industrialized economies to the goal of achieving and maintaining price stability.

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