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Exchange Rate Pass-Through to Consumer Prices: Theory and Recent Evidence

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In an open economy such as Canada’s, exchange rate movements can have a material impact on consumer prices. This is particularly important in the current context, with the significant depreciation of the Canadian dollar vis-a-vis the U.S. dollar since late 2012. This paper provides a broad overview of the various mechanisms by which exchange rate movements pass through to consumer prices and discusses the implications of exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) for the conduct of monetary policy. It then describes some of the tools used at the Bank of Canada to help quantify ERPT. We conclude by taking a closer look at the current situation in Canada, presenting a range of evidence that suggests ERPT has played an important role in recent inflation dynamics.

JEL Code(s): E, E3, E31, E5, E52, F, F3, F31