Exchange rates

  • August 22, 2003

    Measuring Interest Rate Expectations in Canada

    Financial market expectations regarding future changes in the target for the overnight rate of interest are an important source of information for the Bank of Canada. Financial markets are the mechanism through which the policy rate affects other financial variables, such as longer-term interest rates, the exchange rate, and other asset prices. An accurate measure of their expectations can therefore help policy-makers assess the potential impact of contemplated changes. Johnson focuses on the expectations hypothesis, which measures expectations of future levels of the target overnight rate as implied by current money market yields. Although expectations can be derived from the current yield on any short-term fixed-income asset, some assets have proven to be more accurate predictors than others. The implementation of a policy of fixed-announcements dates has coincided with the increased predictive power of these short-term assets. As a result of this improvement, a relatively simple model of the yield curve can now provide an accurate measure of financial market expectations.