Rhys R. Mendes was appointed Managing Director of the International Economic Analysis Department (INT), effective November 1, 2017. In this capacity, he is responsible for the management and strategic direction of the department, which includes providing rigorous and timely analysis of global economic conditions as well as advice on the conduct of monetary policy and international policy issues.
Mr. Mendes joined the Bank of Canada in 2004. Four years later, he was appointed Assistant Chief of the Canadian Economic Analysis Department (CEA) where he led the team responsible for the development of ToTEM II, an updated version of the Bank’s main macroeconomic model. In 2011, he became Director of Policy Analysis in INT, where he represented Canada at G20 meetings and other international forums. He was then appointed Deputy Chief of CEA in 2013. Prior to his current role, Mr. Mendes was Managing Director of Economic and Financial Research, working with the analytic departments to develop and execute a leading-edge research work plan to support all of the Bank’s policy functions.
Throughout his career, Mr. Mendes has contributed to the Bank’s research on the monetary policy framework and is regularly consulted by foreign central banks on framework design issues. In March 2006, Mr. Mendes was on secondment to the International Monetary Fund as an advisor to the Indonesian central bank.
Born in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Mr. Mendes holds a PhD in economics from the University of Toronto.
For central banks, conducting policy in an environment of uncertainty is a daily fact of life. This uncertainty can take many forms, ranging from incomplete knowledge of the correct economic model and data to future economic and geopolitical events whose precise magnitudes and effects cannot be known with certainty.
Since 2012, business investment growth has slowed considerably in advanced economies, averaging a little less than 2 per cent versus the 4 per cent growth rates experienced in the period leading up to crisis. Several recent studies have attributed a large part of the weakness in business investment to cyclical factors, including soft aggregate demand, and, to a lesser degree, heightened uncertainty and tighter financial conditions.
Conventional models imply that central banks aiming to raise inflation should lower nominal rates and thus stimulate aggregate demand. However, several economists have recently challenged this conventional wisdom in favour of an alternative “neo-Fisherian’’ view under which higher nominal rates might in fact lead to higher inflation.
Bank of Canada research done prior to the most recent renewal of the inflation-control agreement in 2011 concluded that the benefits associated with a target below 2 per cent were insufficient to justify the increased risk of being constrained by the zero lower bound (ZLB) on nominal interest rates.
“Chair’s remarks: Understanding commodity price cycles in emerging Asia and their implications for monetary policy” In Globalisation and inflation dynamics in Asia and the Pacific, BIS Papers No. 70, pp. 67-69, January 2013, Bank for International Settlements.