This analytical note examines how much of the systematic variation in the Canadian dollar is attributable to its sensitivity to commodity prices. We introduce a new “oil” portfolio that captures systematic variations when the exchange rates of commodity exporters and commodity importers move in opposite directions.
What path should policy-makers select for the nominal rate when faced with a liquidity trap during which the effective lower bound binds?
In this analytical note we show that the share of the systematic variations in the Canadian dollar has risen significantly in the past two decades. Systematic variations in the exchange rate are shared with other currencies. This parallels the equity market, where variations in the price of a given stock are shared with variations in the prices of other stocks.
Conventional models imply that central banks aiming to raise inflation should lower nominal rates and thus stimulate aggregate demand. However, several economists have recently challenged this conventional wisdom in favour of an alternative “neo-Fisherian’’ view under which higher nominal rates might in fact lead to higher inflation.
Between mid-2014 and early 2016, oil prices fell by roughly 65 per cent. This note documents the channels through which this oil price decline is expected to affect the global economy. One important and immediate channel is through higher expenditures, especially in net oil-importing countries.
During the period of 2008 to 2012, the rules for government-backed mortgage insurance were tightened on four occasions. In this note, we estimate the effects through a simple econometric exercise using a vector error-correction model (VECM).
In the second half of 2014, oil prices experienced a sharp decline, falling more than 50 per cent between June 2014 and January 2015. A cursory glance at this oil price crash suggests similarities to developments in 1986, when the price of oil declined by more than 50 per cent, initiating an episode of relatively low oil prices that lasted for more than a decade.
Similar to those of other forecasters, the Bank of Canada’s forecasts of global GDP growth have shown persistent negative errors over the past five years. This is in contrast to the pre-crisis period, when errors were consistently positive as global GDP surprised to the upside. All major regions have contributed to the forecast errors observed since 2011, although the United States has been the most persistent source of notable errors.
Despite the US unemployment rate being close to estimates of the non-accelerating-inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU), measures of underemployment remain elevated, which could be an indication of remaining labour market slack. The shares of involuntary part-time workers and long-term unemployment are high relative to the current stage of the business cycle, suggesting available labour inputs are being underutilized.