August 20, 2002
Tiff Macklem - Latest
November 18, 2001
A New Measure of Core InflationWhile the Bank of Canada's inflation-control target is specified in terms of the rate of increase in the total consumer price index, the Bank uses a measure of trend or "core" inflation as a short-term guide for its monetary policy actions. When the inflation targets were renewed in May 2001, the Bank announced that it was adopting a new measure of core inflation. This measure excludes the eight most volatile components of the CPI and adjusts the remaining components for the effect of changes in indirect taxes. In this article, the author discusses the definition of the new measure of core inflation and describes some of its advantages relative to the previous measure. He notes that the new measure has a firmer statistical basis, has a better correspondence with economic theory, and does a better job of predicting future changes in overall inflation. While the new measure has these advantages, the Bank will continue to monitor a broad range of indicators when assessing the likely future path for inflation.
December 11, 1997
Price stability, inflation targets, and monetary policy: Conference summaryThis article summarizes the proceedings of a conference hosted by the Bank of Canada in May 1997. The first conference held by the Bank on this subject was in 1993, two years after the introduction of inflation targeting in Canada. The 1997 conference revisited many of the analytic issues related to price stability that had been examined at the first conference, while also considering several additional questions. This time, with the extension of inflation-control targets beyond 1998 under consideration, particular emphasis was placed on the role and design of those targets. The conference also featured a round-table discussion among practitioners of monetary policy in three inflation-targeting countries—New Zealand, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Their remarks, which focussed on the experience with inflation targets, bring out very clearly the common challenges facing monetary policymakers in open economies.
May 13, 1997
Capacity constraints, price adjustment, and monetary policyThe short-run Phillips curve describes a positive short-run relationship between the level of economic activity and inflation. When the level of demand in the economy as a whole runs ahead of the level of output that the economy can supply in the short run, price pressures increase and inflation rises. This article reviews the origins of the short-run Phillips curve with particular emphasis on the long-standing idea that the shape of this curve may be non-linear, with inflation becoming more sensitive to changes in output when the cycle of economic activity is high than when it is low. This type of non-linearity in the short-run Phillips curve, which is typically motivated by the effects of capacity constraints that limit the ability of the economy to expand in the short run, has recently attracted renewed attention. The article surveys recent research that finds some evidence of this type of non-linearity in the Phillips curve in Canada and considers the potential implications for monetary policy.
December 8, 1994
Some macroeconomic implications of rising levels of government debtThe level of government debt in Canada relative to gross domestic product has risen steadily since the mid-1970s. Canada has not been alone in experiencing rising government indebtedness, but in comparison to other countries, Canada's debt load is now distinctly on the high side. The author reviews some of the effects of rising government debt levels on macroeconomic performance and provides some calculations aimed at illustrating their possible long-run impact on the Canadian economy. His analysis, which is based on a model of the Canadian economy used at the Bank of Canada, suggests that higher levels of government debt reduce both the level of output and the share of output that is available for domestic consumption. The central policy implication is that there are substantial benefits to halting the rise in government debt and thus preventing further erosion of consumption opportunities.