This note analyzes the evolution of the narrative in the Bank of Canada’s Monetary Policy Report (MPR). It presents descriptive statistics on the core text, including length, most frequently used words and readability level—the three Ls. Although each Governor of the Bank of Canada focuses on the macroeconomic events of the day and the mandate of inflation targeting, we observe that the language used in the MPR varies somewhat from one Governor’s tenure to the next.
The literature highlights that labour market churn, including job-to-job transitions, is a key element of wage growth. Using microdata from the Labour Force Survey, we compute measures of labour market churn and compare these with pre-crisis averages to assess implications for wage growth.
Since the global financial crisis, advanced-economy wage growth has been generally low relative to past recoveries, especially after accounting for the evolution of labour market conditions over this period. This paper investigates a variety of potential explanations for this weakness, drawing on findings from the literature as well as analysis of recent labour market data in advanced economies.
Price controls, or caps, can lead to shortages, as 1970’s gasoline price controls illustrate. One million trades show that the market for borrowing bonds in Canada has an implicit price cap: traders are willing to pay no more than the overnight interest rate to borrow a bond. This suggests the probability of a shortage increases when interest rates are very low.
Canadian interest rates show a secular decline since the 1980s. Long-term survey-based forecasts of interest rates also declined, but less so and were more gradual. Our model-based estimates show an endpoint shifting over time in three phases: a decline between 1990 and 1995, a period of stability between 1996 and 2007, and a further decline since 2008. The current endpoint estimate remains clouded with uncertainty; this is an active area of research.
This note examines the costs of the Government of Canada bond buyback and switch programs between 1998 and 2016. Our analysis indicates that the auction design of the buyback program was effective in retiring government debt with minimal costs resulting from bid shading in auctions and price impact.
The monthly data for real gross domestic product (GDP) by industry are used extensively in real time both to ground the Bank of Canada’s monitoring of economic activity and in the Bank’s nowcasting tools, making these data one of the most important high-frequency time series for Canadian nowcasting.
We identify a few Bank of Canada press releases that had the largest immediate impact on the exchange rate market. We find that volatility increases after these releases, but the effect is short-lived and mostly dissipates after the first hour, on average. Beyond the first hour, the size of the effect is similar to what we observe for other economic releases, such as those for inflation or economic growth data.
We show that a large share of low-frequency (quarterly) movements in Canadian government bond yields can be explained by macroeconomic news, even though high-frequency (daily) changes are driven by other shocks. Furthermore, we show that US macro news—not domestic news— explains most of the quarterly variation in Canadian bond yields.
Many reports and analyses interpret the release of new economic data based on the headline surprise—for instance, total inflation, real GDP growth and the unemployment rate. However, we find that headline news alone cannot adequately explain the responses of market prices to new information. Rather, market prices react more strongly, on average, to non-headline news such as the composition of GDP growth, quality of jobs created and revisions to past data. Thus, tracking the impact of non-headline information released on the news day is crucial in analyzing how markets interpret and react to new economic data.