May 11, 1996 In 1995, the broad aggregate M2+ grew at an annual rate of 4.5 per cent—almost twice the rate recorded in 1994—as competition from mutual funds drew less money from personal savings deposits. An adjusted M2+ aggregate, which internalizes the effect of close substitutes such as CSBs and certain mutual funds, grew by only 3.4 per cent. Gross M1 grew by 8.2 per cent during the year, reflecting an increased demand for transactions balances as market interest rates declined and as banks offered more attractive rates of interest on corporate current account balances. The robust growth of gross M1 in the second half of 1995 suggests a moderate expansion of economic activity in the first half of 1996, while moderate growth in the broad aggregates indicates a rate of monetary expansion consistent with continued low inflation. In this annual review of the monetary aggregates, the authors also introduce a new model, based on calculated deviations of M1 from its long-run demand, which suggests that inflation should remain just below the midpoint of the inflation-control target range over the next couple of years.
May 10, 1996 This article examines the changes that have occurred in the composition of funds raised by provincial borrowers during the 1990s. Higher financing requirements, coupled with the declining availability of funds from non-market sources such as the Canada Pension Plan, led provincial governments and their Crown corporations to broaden and to diversify their debt management programs. In particular, provincial borrowers expanded their presence in foreign bond markets, increased their issuance of floating-rate debt, and incorporated a wide variety of innovative debt instruments into their borrowing programs in order to minimize their borrowing costs and to manage the risks associated with the issuing of debt. As a result, the composition of funds raised by provincial borrowers during the 1990s differed markedly from that of the previous decade: between 1990 and 1995, provincial borrowing requirements were met almost entirely through the issuance of marketable debt, and net new foreign currency debt issues averaged nearly 50 per cent of funds raised, whereas between 1980 and 1989, non-market sources provided close to 30 per cent of funds raised, and net new foreign currency debt issues provided less than 20 per cent.
May 9, 1996 Swings in inventory investment have traditionally played a major role in Canadian business cycles. However, advances in inventory-control techniques and the reduced uncertainty associated with lower inflation have enabled firms to manage their inventories much more tightly and effectively. This article examines recent developments in the management of non-farm business inventories in Canada at both the aggregate and the sectoral level and looks at implications for the role of inventories as a source of economic fluctuation.