December 24, 2004 A database of historical Government of Canada zero-coupon yield curves developed at the Bank of Canada is introduced in this article, which also includes an initial statistical analysis of the behaviour and evolution of the zero-coupon interest (spot) rates over the full period and two distinct subperiods. Specific areas of interest include the evolution of the levels of key interest rates and yield-curve measures over the sample as well as daily changes in the key interest rates and the yield-curve measures; the identification of a relatively small number of factors that drove the evolution of the yield curve; and the total returns that would have been realized by holding bonds of different maturities for a given holding period.
August 22, 2003 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.