The author provides a non-technical explanation of the role played by the exchange rate in Canada's inflation-targeting monetary policy.
October 5, 2005 An essential element of the Bank of Canada's inflation-targeting framework is a floating exchange rate that is free to adjust in response to shocks that affect the Canadian and world economies. This floating rate plays an important role in the transmission mechanism for monetary policy. A practical question is how the Bank of Canada incorporates currency movements into the monetary policy decision-making process. Only after determining the cause and persistence of exchange rate change, and its likely net effect on aggregate demand, can the Bank decide on the appropriate policy response to keep inflation low, stable, and predictable. Ragan reviews the need to target inflation and the transmission mechanism for monetary policy, including the role of the exchange rate, before describing two types of exchange rate movements and their implications for monetary policy.