After COVID-19, we expect potential output growth to stabilize around 1.2 percent. This is lower than the 2010–18 average growth of 1.8 percent. Relative to the April 2019 reassessment, the growth profile is revised down. Given the unknown course of the pandemic, uncertainty around these estimates is higher than in previous years.
The neutral rate of interest is important for central banks because it helps measure the stance of monetary policy. We present updated estimates of the neutral rate in Canada using the most recent data. We expect the COVID-19 pandemic to significantly affect the fundamental drivers of the Canadian neutral rate.
The Bank of Canada launched the Bankers’ Acceptance Purchase Facility (BAPF) to ensure that the bankers’ acceptance (BA) market could continue to function well during the financial crisis induced by the COVID‑19 pandemic. We review the impact that the announcement of this facility had on BA yields in the secondary market. We find that BA yield spreads declined by 15 basis points on the day of the announcement and by up to 70 basis points over a longer period. Using an econometric framework, we quantify the effect of the announcement and confirm early assertions presented in the Bank’s 2020 Financial System Review.
Between February 19 and March 23, 2020, the Canadian stock market plunged due to the severe economic impact of COVID-19. By the end of the summer, the stock market had already recovered a significant portion of its losses, leaving many asking if investors see the economy through rose-coloured glasses. Despite these concerns, we find that current market valuations for companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange align well, on average, with the declines in earning forecasts observed since the start of the year. We also find these market valuations are consistent with the discount rate returning to its pre-pandemic level.
An anonymous token-based central bank digital currency (CBDC) would pose certain security risks to users. These risks arise from how balances are aggregated, from their transactional use and from the competition between suppliers of aggregation solutions.
What do high-frequency expenditure network data reveal about spending and inflation during COVID‑19?The official consumer price index (CPI) inflation measure, based on a fixed basket set before the COVID 19 pandemic, may not fully reflect what consumers are currently experiencing. We partnered with Statistics Canada to construct a more representative index for the pandemic with weights based on real-time transaction and survey data.
Business investment has been lower than expected in Canada and abroad since the financial crisis of 2007–09. This corporate investment gap is mirrored in firms’ other financing decisions, as they have increased cash holdings and dividend payments and decreased issuance of debt and equity.
The liquidity management strategies of fund managers, supported by policy measures, have helped bond funds limit the increase in redemptions caused by COVID 19. This avoided further deterioration in liquidity in bond markets. Nevertheless, these funds were left with lower cash buffers, which could make them more vulnerable to additional large redemptions.
Major stock indexes have bounced back from their March 23 trough to about 10 percent below their peaks. However, stocks that are more sensitive to the business cycle have not performed as well during this market rally. This suggests that stock markets are pricing in a slower, shallower economic recovery.
Bond dealers have traditionally kept bonds in an inventory until clients buy them. But now, dealers have another way to access bonds for their clients: the exchange-traded fund. We discuss this new way to manage bond dealing and what it might mean for bond markets.