November 16, 2017 The neutral rate serves as a benchmark for measuring monetary stimulus and provides a medium- to long-run anchor for the real policy rate. Global neutral rate estimates have been falling over the past few decades. Factors such as population aging, high corporate savings, and low trend productivity growth are likely to continue supporting a low global neutral rate. These global factors as well as domestic factors are exerting downward pres-sure on the Canadian real neutral rate, which is estimated to be between 0.5 to 1.5 per cent. This low neutral rate has important implications for monetary policy and financial stability.
August 18, 2011 This article describes changes to the structure of ToTEM—the Bank of Canada’s main model for projection and policy analysis—that allow an independent role for long-term interest rates, as well as for the risk spreads that lead to differences in the interest rates faced by households, firms and the government. These changes broaden the range of policy questions that the model can address and improve its ability to explain data. The authors use the model to simulate the effects of shocks to the risk spreads on interest rates similar to those that occurred during the recent financial crisis. They also use the model to assess the macroeconomic impact of higher requirements for bank capital and liquidity.