The Bank of Canada conducted a Wage Setting Survey with a sample of 200 private sector firms from mid-October 2007 to May 2008. Results indicate that wage adjustments for the Canadian non-union private workforce are overwhelmingly time dependent, with a fixed duration of one year, and are clustered in the first four months of the year, suggesting that wage stickiness may not be constant over the year.
Since the Bank of Canada adopted inflation targeting in 1991, it has focused on a measure of core inflation as a shorter-term guide for monetary policy. When the targets were renewed in 2001, the Bank adopted CPIX as its measure of core inflation because of the advantages it offered. Leflèche and Armour review the experience with CPIX and whether the criteria used to select it in 2001 still favour the measure today. They describe the various measures of core inflation monitored by the Bank and evaluate them on the basis of the volatility of the components, the volatility of the core measures themselves, absence of bias relative to total CPI, predictive power, and certain practical criteria, including timeliness and credibility. They conclude that CPIX still satisfies all the empirical and practical criteria.
The Bank of Canada uses core CPI inflation, the year-over-year rate of change of the consumer price index excluding food, energy, and the effects of changes in indirect taxes, as the operational guide for monetary policy.
As a guide for the conduct of monetary policy, most central banks make use of a trend inflation index similar to that employed by the Bank of Canada: the CPI excluding food, energy, and the effect of indirect taxes. In addition to their basic reference index, some central banks regularly publish statistical measures of the trend rate of inflation. The method used for producing these measures is, for the most part, based on the hypothesis that extreme price fluctuations generally reflect temporary shocks to the inflation rate, rather than its underlying trend.
In this paper, the author offers a broad survey of studies on the measurement of trend inflation that have been published by the Bank of Canada and presents the results of the most recent work on the subject. Particular attention is paid to two statistical measures that the Bank follows more closely than other measures; namely, the CPIX, a price index that excludes eight of the most volatile CPI components, and CPIW, a measure that retains all the components of the overall index but gives a lower weighting to the most volatile.
In this paper, the author calculates new measures of the trend inflation rate using changes in the components of total CPI; the hypothesis is that extreme fluctuations in certain prices reflect temporary supply shocks rather than any basic price trend.