When financial system vulnerabilities are elevated, they can give rise to asymmetric risks to the economic outlook. To illustrate this, I consider the economic outlook presented in the Bank of Canada’s October 2017 Monetary Policy Report in the context of two key financial system vulnerabilities: high levels of household indebtedness and housing market imbalances.
This note investigates whether Canadian corporate spreads and the excess bond premium (EBP) lead Canadian economic activity. Indeed, we find that corporate spreads precede changes in real gross domestic product (GDP) in Canada over the subsequent year. The EBP accounts for most of this property. Further, an unanticipated increase in the Canadian EBP forecasts a deterioration of domestic macroeconomic conditions: a 10-basis-point increase results in a fall in both GDP and consumer price index (CPI) of 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively, over three years.