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188 Results

November 23, 2004

Real Return Bonds: Monetary Policy Credibility and Short-Term Inflation Forecasting

The break-even inflation rate (BEIR) is calculated by comparing the yields on conventional and Real Return Bonds. Defined as the average rate of inflation that equates the expected returns on these two bonds, the BEIR has the potential to contain useful information about long-run inflation expectations. Yet the BEIR has been higher, on average, and more variable than survey measures of inflation expectations, which may be explained by the effects of premiums and distortions embedded in the BEIR. Because of the difficulty in accounting for these distortions, the BEIR should not be given a large weight as a measure of long-run inflation expectations at this time. However, as the Real Return Bond market continues to develop, the BEIR should become a more useful indicator of inflation expectations. At present, it demonstrates no clear advantage over survey measures and even past inflation rates in forecasting near-term inflation.

Real Return Bonds, Inflation Expectations, and the Break-Even Inflation Rate

Staff Working Paper 2004-43 Ian Christensen, Christopher Reid, Frédéric Dion
According to the Fisher hypothesis, the gap between Canadian nominal and Real Return Bond yields (or break-even inflation rate) should be a good measure of inflation expectations.
August 24, 2004

The Efficiency of Canadian Capital Markets: Some Bank of Canada Research

Capital markets and their related financial instruments make an important contribution to the welfare of Canadians. The Bank of Canada is interested in the efficient functioning of capital markets through each of its responsibilities for monetary policy, the financial system, and funds management. Hendry and King highlight the key findings of Bank research published over the past year that addresses capital market efficiency and summarize lessons that have been learned. The research conducted thus far suggests that Canadian capital markets are efficient for a capital market of Canada's size but are less diverse than the U.S. capital markets, indicating that there is room for improvement in certain areas.

Estimating Policy-Neutral Interest Rates for Canada Using a Dynamic Stochastic General-Equilibrium Framework

Staff Working Paper 2004-9 Jean-Paul Lam, Greg Tkacz
In an era when the primary policy instrument is the level of the short-term interest rate, a comparison of that rate with some equilibrium rate can be a useful guide for policy and a convenient method to measure the stance of monetary policy.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Interest rates JEL Code(s): C, C3, C32, E, E3, E37
November 23, 2003

An Evaluation of Fixed Announcement Dates

When it launched a new system for regularly announcing its decisions regarding the overnight rate of interest in December 2000, the Bank of Canada had a number of key objectives in mind. These included reduced uncertainty in financial markets, greater focus on the Canadian rather than the U.S. economic environment, more emphasis on the medium-term perspective of monetary policy, and increased transparency regarding the Bank's interest rate decisions. Evidence to date suggests that all four objectives have been met to a substantial degree. Fixed announcement dates have provided regular opportunities for the Bank to communicate its views on the state of the Canadian economy to the public. This has helped to improve understanding of the broad direction of monetary policy and of the rationale behind the Bank's policy decisions although the decisions themselves are not always fully anticipated.

Measuring Interest Rate Expectations in Canada

Staff Working Paper 2003-26 Grahame Johnson
Financial market expectations regarding future policy actions by the Bank of Canada are an important input into the Bank's decision-making process, and they can be measured using a variety of sources. The author develops a simple expectations-based model to focus on measuring interest rate expectations that are implied by the current level of money market yields.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Financial markets, Interest rates JEL Code(s): G, G1
August 22, 2003

Measuring Interest Rate Expectations in Canada

Financial market expectations regarding future changes in the target for the overnight rate of interest are an important source of information for the Bank of Canada. Financial markets are the mechanism through which the policy rate affects other financial variables, such as longer-term interest rates, the exchange rate, and other asset prices. An accurate measure of their expectations can therefore help policy-makers assess the potential impact of contemplated changes. Johnson focuses on the expectations hypothesis, which measures expectations of future levels of the target overnight rate as implied by current money market yields. Although expectations can be derived from the current yield on any short-term fixed-income asset, some assets have proven to be more accurate predictors than others. The implementation of a policy of fixed-announcements dates has coincided with the increased predictive power of these short-term assets. As a result of this improvement, a relatively simple model of the yield curve can now provide an accurate measure of financial market expectations.
December 20, 2002

Transparency and the Response of Interest Rates to the Publication of Macroeconomic Data

The benefits of transparency—the outcome of the measures taken by the central bank to allow financial markets and economic agents to understand the factors it takes into account in formulating monetary policy—are now widely recognized. These benefits include smoother implementation of monetary policy and increased effectiveness as markets improve their ability to anticipate the Bank's policy decisions and account for them in their operations. How interest rates respond to the publication of macroeconomic data depends on the degree of transparency in monetary policy, as the rates will rise or fall as a reflection of the market's revised expectations. Before the Bank of Canada adopted initiatives to improve transparency, such as the inflation-control targets, the semi-annual publication of the Monetary Policy Report and Updates, and the fixed announcement dates, changes to the overnight rate created some volatility in interest rates, and publishing Canadian macroeconomic data did not appear to have a major impact on rates. This article shows how the Bank of Canada's steps towards greater transparency have increased the impact of Canadian data on short-term interest rates and have improved financial markets' understanding of how monetary policy decisions are taken.
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