Bio

Lena Suchanek was appointed Director, Regional Analysis Division, of the Bank of Canada’s Canadian Economic Analysis Department in January 2018. In this capacity, she is part of the leadership team that directs and manages the department and oversees the economic analysis activities of the Bank’s five regional offices (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montréal and Halifax). She leads the division in carrying out and publishing the quarterly Business Outlook Survey, conducting regional and sectoral analysis and economic research, and supporting the Bank’s communication strategy.

Ms. Suchanek first joined the Bank of Canada as an economist in the International Economic Analysis Department in 2007, before moving to the European Central Bank in 2010. She returned to the Bank of Canada in 2011, later joining the Regional Analysis Division at the Quebec Regional Office, where she was appointed principal economist in 2015. In 2017, she was appointed policy advisor, a position she held until being named director. Her primary research interests include unconventional monetary policies and international economics.


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Staff analytical notes

Digitalization and Inflation: A Review of the Literature

In the past few years, many have postulated that the possible disinflationary effects of digitalization could explain the subdued inflation in advanced economies. In this note, we review the evidence found in the literature. We look at three main channels.

Digital Transformation in the Service Sector: Insights from Consultations with Firms in Wholesale, Retail and Logistics

Staff Analytical Note 2017-19 Wei Dong, James Fudurich, Lena Suchanek
Firms increasingly rely on digital technologies such as e-commerce, cloud computing, big data, digital tracking and digital platforms that are reshaping business operations, business models and market structures. In this context, the Bank of Canada consulted with firms in wholesale, retail and logistics, as well as with related industry associations to yield insights on the adoption of digital technologies.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff analytical notes Topic(s): Firm dynamics, Inflation and prices, Service sector JEL Code(s): D, D2, D22, E, E3, E31, L, L8, L81, L9, L92, O, O3, O33

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Staff discussion papers

The Digital Economy—Insight from a Special Survey with IT Service Exporters

Staff Discussion Paper 2016-21 Wei Dong, James Fudurich, Lena Suchanek
Information technology (IT) is an increasingly integral part of everyday business and personal life reflecting the ongoing and accelerating digital transformation of the economy. In this paper, we present information gathered from a survey with export-oriented firms in the Canadian IT service industry and consultations with industry associations aimed at shedding light on this small but highly dynamic sector.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff discussion papers Topic(s): Firm dynamics, Service sector JEL Code(s): D, D2, D22, L, L8, L86, O, O3, O33

Quantitative Easing as a Policy Tool Under the Effective Lower Bound

Staff Discussion Paper 2015-14 Abeer Reza, Eric Santor, Lena Suchanek
This paper summarizes the international evidence on the performance of quantitative easing (QE) as a monetary policy tool when conventional policy rates are constrained by the effective lower bound (ELB). A large body of evidence suggests that expanding the central bank’s balance sheet through large-scale asset purchases can provide effective stimulus under the ELB.

Why Do Canadian Firms Invest and Operate Abroad? Implications for Canadian Exports

Staff Discussion Paper 2014-7 Martin Coiteux, Patrick Rizzetto, Lena Suchanek, Jane Voll
Canadian foreign direct investment and sales of Canadian multinational firms’ operations abroad, particularly in the manufacturing industry and in the United States, have accelerated sharply over the past decade.

External Stability, Real Exchange Rate Adjustment and the Exchange Rate Regime in Emerging-Market Economies

Staff Discussion Paper 2011-5 Olivier Gervais, Lawrence L. Schembri, Lena Suchanek
In emerging-market economies, real exchange rate adjustment is critical for maintaining a sustainable current account position and thereby for helping to reduce macroeconomic and financial instability.

Labour Shares and the Role of Capital and Labour Market Imperfections

Staff Discussion Paper 2009-2 Lena Suchanek
In continental Europe, labour shares in national income have exhibited considerable variation since 1970. Empirical and theoretical research suggests that the evolution of labour markets and labour market imperfections can, in part, explain this phenomenon.

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Staff working papers

Does Outward Foreign Investment Matter for Canadian Productivity? Evidence from Greenfield Investments

Staff Working Paper 2018-31 Naveen Rai, Lena Suchanek, Maria Bernier
This paper seeks to understand how outward foreign direct investment (FDI) affects the productivity of Canadian firms. We estimate the impact of outward greenfield investment on measures of firm-level productivity using FDI data from roughly 2,000 Canadian firms and more than 4,000 outward FDI projects over the 2003–14 period.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Firm dynamics, Productivity JEL Code(s): D, D2, D24, F, F2, F21, F23

Understanding Monetary Policy and its Effects: Evidence from Canadian Firms Using the Business Outlook Survey

Staff Working Paper 2017-24 Matthieu Verstraete, Lena Suchanek
This paper shows (i) that business sentiment, as captured by survey data, matters for monetary policy decisions in Canada, and (ii) how business perspectives are affected by monetary policy shocks. Measures of business sentiment (soft data) are shown to have systematic explanatory power for monetary policy decisions over and above typical Taylor rule variables.

Large-Scale Asset Purchases: Impact on Commodity Prices and International Spillover Effects

Staff Working Paper 2015-21 Sharon Kozicki, Lena Suchanek, Eric Santor
Prices of commodities, including metals, energy and agricultural products, rose markedly over the 2009–2010 period. Some observers have attributed a significant part of this increase in commodity prices to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s large-scale asset purchase (LSAP) programs.
Content Type(s): Staff working papers Topic(s): International topics JEL Code(s): E, E5, E58, G, G1, G14, Q, Q0, Q00

The Effect of the Federal Reserve’s Tapering Announcements on Emerging Markets

Staff Working Paper 2014-50 Vikram Rai, Lena Suchanek
The Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) program has been accompanied by a flow of funds into emerging-market economies (EMEs) in search of higher returns.

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Bank publications

Bank of Canada Review articles

May 11, 2017

Unconventional Monetary Policy: The Perspective of a Small Open Economy

How do unconventional monetary policies like quantitative easing and negative interest rates affect domestic financial conditions and the broader economy in small open econo-mies, such as Canada? These policies are effective in depreciating the exchange rate in small open economies, while lower interest rates are also passed through to the economy, albeit only partially. When conventional monetary policy is close to its limits, fiscal policy may be a more important complement to monetary policy in a small economy, particularly if global demand for safe assets compresses long-term interest rates.
May 16, 2016

A New Era of Central Banking: Unconventional Monetary Policies

Central banks can implement unconventional monetary policy measures to provide additional easing when policy interest rates come close to their lower limit. To date, the international experience with tools such as quantitative easing and negative interest rates has been largely positive. Central banks may also use several such measures simultaneously, with often mutually reinforcing effects. Yet, unconventional tools are also subject to potential limits, and the costs associated with these measures could rise with extensive and prolonged use.
May 16, 2013

Unconventional Monetary Policies: Evolving Practices, Their Effects and Potential Costs

Following the recent financial crisis, major central banks have introduced several types of unconventional monetary policy measures, including liquidity and credit facilities, asset purchases and forward guidance. To date, these measures appear to have been successful. They restored market functioning, facilitated the transmission of monetary policy and supported economic activity. They have potential costs, however, including challenges related to the greatly expanded balance sheets of central banks and the eventual exit from these measures, as well as the vulnerabilities that can arise from prolonged monetary accommodation.
May 19, 2011

Unconventional Monetary Policy: The International Experience with Central Bank Asset Purchases

As part of their policy response to the financial crisis of 2007–09, central banks introduced numerous unprecedented monetary policy measures to provide monetary easing. This article defines and documents these measures, focusing on central bank asset purchases and their impact on central bank balance sheets. It then discusses the challenges of identifying the effects of these measures and explores possible exit strategies. The potential costs of these policies are also analyzed, as well as the broader implications for monetary policy frameworks.
November 11, 2009

The Evolution of Capital Flows to Emerging-Market Economies

Many emerging-market economies (EMEs) have significantly improved their macroeconomic fundamentals and undergone structural reforms since the Asian crisis. These developments have enhanced the composition of capital flows to EMEs through an improved debt structure, a larger share of capital flows as foreign direct investment, and greater access to international debt markets for corporations in EMEs. Structural changes in the global financial landscape have also increased capital flows, bringing economic and financial benefits to EMEs. During the recent financial crisis, however, the opening up of capital accounts and increased financial and trade linkages left many countries vulnerable to external disruptions. Countries with sound fundamentals have weathered the crisis relatively well. Policy-makers in EMEs need to implement policies that support capital flows and ensure that controls imposed to deal with detrimental outflows during periods of stress or rapid inflows are only temporary.

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Journal publications

Refereed journals

  • "Current Account Dynamics, Real Exchange Rate Adjustment and the Exchange Rate Regime in Emerging-Market Economies"
    (with Olivier Gervais and Lawrence Schembri), Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 119, March 2016, p. 86-89.

Other

Publications

Research