We assess the complex macroeconomic implications of Canada’s recent population increases. We find that newcomers significantly boost the non-inflationary, potential growth of the economy, but existing imbalances in the housing sector may be exacerbated. Greater housing supply is needed to complement the long-term economic benefits of population growth.
Staff analytical notes are short articles that focus on topical issues relevant to the current economic and financial context.
This article reviews selected papers that use machine learning for economics research and policy analysis. Our review highlights when machine learning is used in economics, the commonly preferred models and how those models are used.
Decentralized finance surged in popularity around 2020. We explore its value and limitations and highlight some potential regulatory concerns.
Canada transitioned to a new wholesale payment system, Lynx, in August 2021. Lynx is based on a real-time settlement model that eliminates credit risk in the system. This model can require more liquidity; however, Lynx’s design allows Canada’s wholesale payments to settle efficiently.
Options markets offer unique insights into the changing risks different assets face, which helps us better understand the broader risks to the Canadian economy. We show how option prices help reveal that investors did not anticipate large downside risks to either major Canadian banks or economic growth during the March 2023 financial sector system stress, a period when policy-makers and investors were unsure of what the future held for Canada’s economy.
We measure the contribution to inflation from the growth in markups of Canadian firms. The dynamics of inflation and markups suggest that changes in markups could account for less than one-tenth of inflation in 2021. Further, they suggest that peak inflation was driven primarily by changes in the costs of firms.
While Government of Canada bond transactions of hedge funds are typically in the opposite direction to those of other market participants, during the peak period of market turmoil in March 2020, hedge funds sold these bonds, just as other market participants did. This shows that hedge funds can at times contribute to one-sided markets and amplify declines in market liquidity.
The BoC–BoE database of sovereign debt defaults, published and updated annually by the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, provides comprehensive estimates of stocks of government obligations in default. The 2023 edition includes a new section about the characteristics of sovereign defaults and provides new visuals showing regional debt in default.
It takes a panel to predict the future: What the stock market says about future economic growth in CanadaValuation ratios in the Canadian stock market can help reveal investors’ expectations about future economic growth because the impact of economic growth on valuation ratios can vary across industries. We find that this variation helps produce accurate forecasts of future growth of real gross domestic product in Canada. The forecasts from our model declined by just over 3 percentage points between January 2022 and February 2023—a period when the Bank of Canada rapidly increased the overnight rate. As well, we find that interest-rate-sensitive industries had an outsized contribution to this expected slowdown in growth.
We find that prices and costs for consumer-oriented firms moved roughly one-for-one during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means firms fully passed rising costs through to the prices they charged. However, our results are suggestive, given data limitations and the uncertainty associated with estimating markups.