Inflation targets

  • November 13, 2000

    Seminar Summary: Price Stability and the Long-Run Target for Monetary Policy

    On 8 and 9 June 2000, the Bank held a seminar to examine some key issues affecting the upcoming decision on Canada's inflation-control target for the period after 2001. The main issues covered at the seminar were the extent of downward nominal-wage rigidity and its implications for employment as well as the relative merits of price-level targeting versus inflation targeting. Another critical question that was discussed was how to balance the evidence on all the relevant issues in order to develop an overall view on the appropriate long-run target. The author gives a brief overview of the seminar followed by detailed summaries of individual papers.
  • August 16, 2000

    The Changing Face of Central Banking in the 1990s

    During the 1990s, central banks in the industrialized countries made important changes in the way they operate. As part of these initiatives, central banks have endeavoured to define a set of best practices, learning from each other in the process. The goal was to improve and adapt the frameworks within which monetary policy is implemented. Clarifying Objectives A clear objective is a necessary starting point for any policy framework. The growing consensus that price stability is the most appropriate objective for monetary policy was perhaps one of the most critical developments of the past decade. Price stability is now universally regarded as the key contribution that monetary policy can make to promote sustainable growth and maximize the level of employment. Central banks also need a clear strategy for achieving their objective. A major development of the past decade was the growing popularity of inflation targets as the numerical focus for monetary policy. Clearly defined inflation targets focus policy on the variable that is directly associated with price stability. The Bank of Canada was one of the first to adopt (in 1991) a set of targets for inflation over a specified time horizon. Accountability Many central banks have acquired greater independence and this, together with the public's desire for more information from key public institutions, has raised the standards for accountability. At the same time, explicit targets provide a clear measure against which to judge the performance of the monetary authorities. Increased accountability also has implications for the overall transparency of the monetary authorities. In sum, central banks have become much more open institutions and are placing greater emphasis on their communications activities. As an example, comprehensive inflation reports have become key communications vehicles for a number of central banks. Many of the changes implemented by central banks stem from the desire to improve the credibility of monetary policy, thus making it easier for monetary authorities to achieve their objectives. Although it is difficult to ascertain the overall effect of the evolving policy framework, it is encouraging that inflation and inflation expectations were at low levels at the end of the 1990s, thus providing a solid base for monetary policy in the future.
  • Identifying Policy-makers' Objectives: An Application to the Bank of Canada

    Staff Working Paper 2000-11 Nicholas Rowe, James Yetman
    In this paper, we develop a new way to test hypotheses about policy-makers' targets, and we implement that test for Canadian monetary policy.
    Content Type(s): Staff Research, Staff Working Papers Topic(s): Inflation targets JEL Code(s): E, E5, E52, E6, E61

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