To better understand price-setting behaviour in the Canadian economy, the Bank of Canada's regional offices surveyed a representative sample of 170 firms between July 2002 and March 2003. The authors discuss the reasons behind the survey, the methodology used to develop the questionnaire and conduct the interviews, and summarize the results. The study also assessed several explanations for holding prices steady despite market pressures for a change. The survey findings indicate that prices in Canada are relatively flexible and have become more flexible over the past decade. Price stickiness was generally found to originate in firms' fears of antagonizing customers or disturbing the goodwill or reputation developed with them. A detailed discussion of the results includes a consideration of their implications for monetary policy.
The regional offices of the Bank conducted a survey of 140 Canadian companies (representing all non-government sectors of the economy) to study the effects of restructuring (defined as a major change in the way firms do business).
Towards the end of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, the Canadian economy experienced a number of structural changes. These included free trade agreements (both the FTA and NAFTA), significant technological advances, deregulation in many sectors of the economy, the arrival of large, U.S.-based retailers, and the introduction of the GST.