Despite COVID-19 challenges, bold policy measures in Canada have helped businesses manage cash flow pressures and kept insolvency filings low. But the impact of the pandemic has been uneven, and the financial health of some firms may further deteriorate over the next year.
Staff analytical notes
Exceptional strength in the housing market during the pandemic is underpinning Canada’s economic recovery. However, two key vulnerabilities—housing market imbalances and elevated household indebtedness—have intensified.
COVID-19 presents challenges for indebted households. We assess these by drawing parallels between pandemics and natural disasters. Taking into account the financial health of the household sector when the pandemic began, we run model simulations to illustrate how payment deferrals and the labour market recovery will affect mortgage defaults.
We use rich microdata to measure home equity extraction in Canada and track its evolution over time. We find home equity extraction has been rising in recent years and has likely contributed materially to dynamics in household spending.
The Formation of House Price Expectations in Canada: Evidence from a Randomized Information ExperimentWe conduct a randomized information experiment leveraging the Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations. We provide causal evidence that respondents revise both their short- and medium-term expectations of future house price growth in a way that is consistent with observed short-term momentum in house prices. However, empirically, house price growth tends to revert to its mean in the medium term.
We use a recently developed model and loan-level microdata to decompose movements in housing resales since 2015. We find that fundamental factors, namely housing affordability and full-time employment, have had offsetting effects on resales over our study period.
In recent years, the governments of Ontario and British Columbia have imposed taxes on purchases by non-Canadian residents of residential properties in certain jurisdictions.
Personal Experiences and House Price Expectations: Evidence from the Canadian Survey of Consumer ExpectationsIn this work, we use novel Canadian survey data to study how expectations of future changes in house prices are influenced by personal experiences. We find that recently experienced changes in local house prices are routinely extrapolated into expectations of year-ahead changes in national house prices.
Staff discussion papers
This paper evaluates the usefulness of various measures of core inflation for the conduct of monetary policy. Traditional exclusion-based measures of core inflation are found to perform relatively poorly across a range of evaluation criteria, in part due to their inability to filter unanticipated transitory shocks.
In an open economy such as Canada’s, exchange rate movements can have a material impact on consumer prices. This is particularly important in the current context, with the significant depreciation of the Canadian dollar vis-a-vis the U.S. dollar since late 2012.
Staff working papers
In this paper, the authors propose a measure of underlying inflation for Canada obtained from estimating a monthly factor model on individual components of the CPI. This measure, labelled the common component of CPI, has intuitive appeal and a number of interesting features.
Bank of Canada Review articles
November 19, 2015 The Bank of Canada recently launched a quarterly survey to measure the expectations of Canadian households: the Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations (CSCE). The data collected provide comprehensive information about consumer expectations for and uncertainty about inflation, the labour market and household finance. This article describes the CSCE and illustrates its potential to offer rich information about Canadian consumers for researchers and policy-makers.
May 13, 2014 This article provides a broad perspective on the performance of the labour market in Canada and the United States since the Great Recession. It also presents a simple way to summarize much of this information in a single composite labour market indicator (LMI) for both countries. The LMI suggests that the unemployment rate in Canada has evolved largely in line with overall labour market conditions since the recession, but may have modestly overstated the extent of recent improvement. The U.S. unemployment rate, in contrast, appears to have substantially overstated the post-recession improvement in labour market conditions.