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June 11, 2009

BoC-GEM: Modelling the World Economy

BoC-GEM, an adaptation of the Global Economy Model, initially developed at the International Monetary Fund and the New York Federal Reserve, is a very useful tool to tackle a broad range of issues pertinent to the current economic context, such as the recent movements in commodity prices and the adjustment of global imbalances. This article describes the structure and functioning of BoC-GEM and details some examples of recent application in the areas of monetary policy and issues in the real economy and questions of financial stability and describes ongoing research into introducing a financial sector into the model.
April 22, 2009

Monetary Policy Report - April 2009

In an environment of continued high uncertainty, the global recession has intensified and become more synchronous since the Bank’s January Monetary Policy Report Update, with weaker-than-expected activity in all major economies.

Errata: The source for Chart 1 (on page 3) is Global Insight, not the Bank of Canada. As well, in chart 15 (on page18), the base year for the exchange rate index CERI excluding the U.S. dollar should read 1992=100, not 1997=100.

April 9, 2009

Next Steps for Canadian Monetary Policy

In 2006, the Bank initiated a research program exploring two alternatives to the current inflation-targeting framework: (i) lowering the inflation target and (ii) shifting to a price-level target. This article discusses progress to date, places the Bank's findings in the context of a broader literature, and identifies avenues for future research.
April 9, 2009

Bank of Canada Review - Spring 2009

Spring 2009
Examination of progress in the Bank’s exploration of two alternatives to the current inflation-targeting framework: (i) lowering the inflation target and (ii) shifting to a price-level target; a review of arguments for and against price-level targeting, focusing on its costs and benefits compared with inflation targeting; assessing the merits of price-level targeting vis-à-vis inflation targeting from a debt-revaluation perspective; quantifying redistribution of wealth in Canada in the face of unexpected inflation.
April 8, 2009

Price-Level Targeting and Stabilization Policy: A Review

This article reviews arguments in the literature for and against price-level targeting, focusing on its costs and benefits compared with inflation targeting. Benefits of price-level targeting include the effect on forward-looking inflation expectations; the ability to substitute for commitment by a central bank to its future policies; lessening forecast errors; better economic performance in response to real shocks because of lower wage indexation; and a reduction in the problem of the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates.
April 7, 2009

Price-Level Uncertainty, Price-Level Targeting, and Nominal Debt Contracts

Many central banks around the world have embraced inflation targeting as a monetary policy framework. Interest is growing, however, in price-level targeting as an alternative. The choice of frameworks has important consequences for financial contracts, most of which are not fully indexed to the price level. Changes in the price level therefore lead to changes in the real value of contracts.
April 5, 2009

Unexpected Inflation and Redistribution of Wealth in Canada

One of the most important arguments in favour of price stability is that unexpected inflation generates changes in the distribution of income and wealth among different economic agents. These redistributions occur because many loans are specified in fixed dollar terms and unexpected inflation redistributes wealth from creditors to debtors by reducing the real value of nominal assets and liabilities.
January 30, 2009

Annual Report 2008

It has been a difficult year. The financial turmoil that began mid-2007 deteriorated into a full-blown global financial crisis through 2008. While the resilience and soundness of the Canadian financial system were in many respects exceptional, the scale of the financial crisis and the subsequent global recession had an increasing impact by year’s end on our financial system and our economy.
Content Type(s): Publications, Annual Report
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