This paper shows that if the Bank of Canada is optimally adjusting its monetary policy instrument in response to inflation indicators to target 2 per cent inflation at a two-year horizon, then deviations of inflation from 2 per cent represent the Bank's forecast errors, and should be uncorrelated with its information set, which includes two-year lagged values of the instrument and the indicators. Positive or negative correlations are evidence of systematic errors in monetary policy.
May 21, 2002 Over the last 10 years, the level of inflation has been much lower than in the previous two decades. At the same time, the behaviour of inflation has changed profoundly. By surveying the data and the economic research, the author first examines changes in the variability, growth rates, and behaviour of some of the major macroeconomic variables during the 1980s and 1990s. He then looks at how these changes are linked to a shift in the approach of monetary policy over the period. Lastly, he reviews the economic benefits that these changes have had for Canada.