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179 Results

August 11, 1996

Real short-term interest rates and expected inflation: Measurement and interpretation

This article compares different measures of real short-term interest rates for Canada over the period from 1956 to 1995. A new measure for the expected real interest rate is constructed using a proxy for inflation expectations that is based on the properties of past inflation. The history of inflation in Canada suggests that the characteristics of inflation have changed considerably over time. Past inflation can be characterized by three different types of behaviour: an environment in which average inflation is low and shocks to inflation have only temporary effects; an environment of moderate inflation with more persistent disturbances; and an environment of drifting inflation in which shocks have permanent effects on the level of inflation. The proxy for inflation expectations uses a statistical model, called a Markov Switching Model, to take account of changes in the behaviour of inflation over time. It is found that uncertainty about the changing characteristics of inflation behaviour leads to uncertainty about estimates of inflation expectations and thus about measures of real interest rates. Target ranges for keeping inflation low should help reduce the uncertainty about inflation behaviour. The behaviour of inflation and interest rates suggests that the credibility of the Bank of Canada's inflation-control objectives is growing. This should reduce inflation uncertainty and lead to lower nominal interest rates over time.
August 10, 1996

Inflation expectations and Real Return Bonds

The existence of a market for Real Return Bonds in Canada provides a direct tool with which to measure market expectations of inflation by comparing the yields on these bonds with those on conventional Government of Canada long-term bonds. However, there are other factors besides inflation expectations that may affect the yield differential. After reviewing these factors, the authors note that they can lead to a potentially large bias in the level of inflation expectations. The changes in the differential over time may, nonetheless, be a good indicator of movements in long-run inflation expectations. Based on this measure, expectations of long-run inflation have declined since late 1994.

Decomposing U.S. Nominal Interest Rates into Expected Inflation and Ex Ante Real Interest Rates Using Structural VAR Methodology

Staff Working Paper 1996-2 Pierre St-Amant
In this paper, the author uses structural vector autoregression methodology to decompose U.S. nominal interest rates into an expected inflation component and an ex ante real interest rate component. He identifies inflation expectations and ex ante real interest rate shocks by assuming that nominal interest rates and inflation expectations move one-for-one in the long-run—they are cointegrated (1,1)—and that the real interest rate is stationary.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Interest rates, International topics JEL Code(s): E, E3, E31, E4, E43

Deriving Agents' Inflation Forecasts from the Term Structure of Interest Rates

Staff Working Paper 1995-1 Christopher Ragan
In this paper, the author uses the term structure of nominal interest rates to construct estimates of agents' expectations of inflation over several medium-term forecast horizons. The Expectations Hypothesis is imposed together with the assumption that expected future real interest rates are given by current real rates. Under these maintained assumptions, it is possible to […]
December 9, 1994

The term structure of interest rates as a leading indicator of economic activity: A technical note

The spread between long-term and short-term interest rates has proven to be an excellent predictor of changes of economic activity in Canada. As a general rule, when long-term interest rates have been much above short-term rates, strong increases in output have followed within about a year; however, whenever the yield curve has been inverted for any extended period of time, a recession has followed. Similar findings exist for other countries, including the United States. But although Canadian and U.S. interest rates generally move quite closely together, the Canadian yield curve has been distinctly better at predicting future Canadian output. The explanation given for this result is that the term spread has reflected both current monetary conditions, which affect short-term interest rates, and expected real returns on investment and expectations of inflation, which are the main determinants of long-term rates. This article is mainly a summary of econometric work done at the Bank. It also touches on some of the extensive recent literature in this area.

International Interest Rate Linkages and Monetary Policy: A Canadian Perspective

Technical Report No. 52 John Murray, Ritha Khemani
This paper examines the implications of increased international capital mobility and asset substitutability for domestic monetary policy in a small open economy such as Canada. Alternative definitions of international financial market integration are presented and tested in the context of two popular macro models. In the main, results suggest that interest rate relationships in Canada […]
Content Type(s): Staff research, Technical reports Topic(s): Interest rates, International topics JEL Code(s): E, E5, E50, F, F3, F33

The Structure of the Small Annual Model

Technical Report No. 40 David Rose, Jack Selody
This volume contains a detailed description of the structure and sectoral properties of the Bank of Canada's Small Annual Model, SAM. The SAM model, constructed in the Research Department of the Bank, is designed for medium- to long-term simulation. It is small by econometric model standards; the version described in this report has 25 stochastic […]
Content Type(s): Staff research, Technical reports Topic(s): Interest rates JEL Code(s): C, C5, C51, E, E4

The Inflation-adjusted Rate of Return on Corporate Debt and Equity: 1966-1980

Technical Report No. 39 Stuart Gilson
This report has two main objectives: First, to determine whether the real tax rate on investment income has proven sensitive to inflation; second, to determine the extent to which real returns to debt and equity, based on published data, differ from those based on inflation-adjusted data. The scope of the inflationary distortion in corporate income […]
Content Type(s): Staff research, Technical reports Topic(s): Interest rates JEL Code(s): E, E3, E31, G, G1, G12, G3, G30
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