Evaluating the Bank of Canada Staff Economic Projections Using a New Database of Real-Time Data and ForecastsWe present a novel database of real-time data and forecasts from the Bank of Canada’s staff economic projections. We then provide a forecast evaluation for GDP growth and CPI inflation since 1982: we compare the staff forecasts with those from commonly used time-series models estimated with real-time data and with forecasts from other professional forecasters and provide standard bias tests.
Recent international experience with the effective lower bound on nominal interest rates has rekindled interest in the benefits of inflation targets above 2 per cent. We evaluate whether an increase in the inflation target to 3 or 4 per cent could improve macroeconomic stability in the Canadian economy.
We construct a 23-country panel data set to consider the effect of central bank projections and forward guidance on private-sector forecast disagreement. We find that central bank projections and forward guidance matter mainly for private-sector forecast disagreement surrounding upcoming policy rate decisions and matter less for private-sector macroeconomic forecasts.
In light of the financial crisis and its aftermath, several economists have argued that inflation-targeting central banks should reconsider the level of their inflation targets. While the appropriate level for the inflation target remains an open question, it’s important to note that any transition to a new target would entail certain costs.
Changes in Monetary Regimes and the Identification of Monetary Policy Shocks: Narrative Evidence from CanadaWe use narrative evidence along with a novel database of real-time data and forecasts from the Bank of Canada's staff economic projections from 1974 to 2015 to construct a new measure of monetary policy shocks and estimate the effects of monetary policy in Canada.
The existence of downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR) has often been used to justify a positive inflation target. It is traditionally assumed that positive inflation could “grease the wheels” of the labour market by putting downward pressure on real wages, easing labour market adjustments during a recession.
We add downward nominal wage rigidity to a standard New Keynesian model with sticky prices and wages, where the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates is allowed to bind. We find that wage rigidity not only reduces the frequency of zero bound episodes but also mitigates the severity of corresponding recessions.
May 16, 2016 The article examines the extent of downward nominal wage rigidity in Canada and its implications for monetary policy. The authors ask whether its existence is a sufficient argument for a higher inflation target if concerns about the effective lower bound are adequately addressed.
May 16, 2016 Inflation-targeting frameworks have remained relatively stable over the past few years despite significant challenges, including prolonged low inflation, a large negative commodity price shock and rising financial stability concerns in some economies. The tools used by central banks have, however, evolved substantially. This article provides a survey of the developments in the inflation-targeting frameworks of 10 central banks in advanced economies that correspond to the three research areas of the Bank of Canada’s 2016 renewal: the level of the inflation target, the measurement of core inflation and financial stability considerations in the formulation of monetary policy.
Inflation expectations are a key determinant of actual and future inflation and thus matter for the conduct of monetary policy. We study how firms form their inflation expectations using quarterly firm-level data from the Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey, spanning the 2001 to 2015 period.