May 16, 2016 Recently, the Bank of Canada has estimated the effective lower bound (ELB) on its policy interest rate to be about -50 basis points. This article outlines the analysis that underpins that estimate by quantifying the costs of storing and using cash in Canada. It also explores how some international markets have adapted to negative interest rates, issues surrounding their implementation, as well as their transmission to other interest rates in the economy. Finally, it discusses theoretical ideas on how the ELB could be reduced further.
May 16, 2016 Central banks can implement unconventional monetary policy measures to provide additional easing when policy interest rates come close to their lower limit. To date, the international experience with tools such as quantitative easing and negative interest rates has been largely positive. Central banks may also use several such measures simultaneously, with often mutually reinforcing effects. Yet, unconventional tools are also subject to potential limits, and the costs associated with these measures could rise with extensive and prolonged use.