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37 Results

October 3, 2006

A New Effective Exchange Rate Index for the Canadian Dollar

An effective exchange rate is a measure of the value of a country's currency vis-à-vis the currencies of its most important trading partners. The Bank of Canada has created a new Canadian-dollar effective exchange rate index (CERI) to replace the C-6 index that it currently uses. The CERI uses multilateral trade weights published by the International Monetary Fund and includes the six currencies of countries or economic zones with the largest share of Canada's international trade. As such, it better reflects the recent changes in Canada's trade profile, including the rise in the importance of China and Mexico and the relative decline in importance of Europe and Japan in Canada's international trade. The author describes the methodology and construction of the new index and reviews the advantages it offers over the C-6, particularly the use of multilateral trade weights, the inclusion of trade in services, and the use of more recent trade data.
June 25, 2005

Changes in the Indicator Properties of Narrow Monetary Aggregates

Although many countries have abandoned monetary targeting in recent decades, monetary aggregates are still useful indicators of future economic activity. Past research has shown that, compared with other monetary aggregates and expressed in real terms, net M1 and gross M1 have traditionally provided superior leading information for output growth.
November 24, 2004

Asset Prices and Monetary Policy: A Canadian Perspective on the Issues

The issue addressed in this article is the extent to which monetary policy in Canada should respond to asset-price bubbles. The article concludes that maintaining low and stable consumer price inflation is the best contribution that monetary policy can make to promoting economic and financial stability, even when the economy experiences asset-price bubbles. In extreme circumstances—when an asset-price bubble is well identified and likely to have significant costs to the economy when it bursts—monetary policy might better maintain low and stable consumer price inflation by leaning against a particular bubble even though it may mean that inflation deviates temporarily from its target. Such a strategy might reduce the risk that a crash in asset prices could lead to a recession and to inflation markedly below target in the longer run. The circumstances where this strategy is possible will be rare because economists are far from being able to determine consistently and reliably when leaning against a particular bubble is likely to do more harm than good. Housing-price bubbles should be a greater concern for Canadian monetary policy than equity-price bubbles, since rising housing prices are more likely to reflect excessively easy domestic credit conditions than are equity prices, which are largely determined in global markets.

Dynamic Factor Analysis for Measuring Money

Staff Working Paper 2003-21 Paul Gilbert, Lise Pichette
Technological innovations in the financial industry pose major problems for the measurement of monetary aggregates. The authors describe work on a new measure of money that has a more satisfactory means of identifying and removing the effects of financial innovations.

How to Improve Inflation Targeting at the Bank of Canada

Staff Working Paper 2002-23 Nicholas Rowe
This paper shows that if the Bank of Canada is optimally adjusting its monetary policy instrument in response to inflation indicators to target 2 per cent inflation at a two-year horizon, then deviations of inflation from 2 per cent represent the Bank's forecast errors, and should be uncorrelated with its information set, which includes two-year lagged values of the instrument and the indicators. Positive or negative correlations are evidence of systematic errors in monetary policy.
August 20, 2002

Information and Analysis for Monetary Policy: Coming to a Decision

This article outlines one of the Bank's key approaches to dealing with the uncertainty that surrounds decisions on monetary policy: the consideration of a wide range of information from a variety of sources. More specifically, it describes the information and analysis that the monetary policy decision-makers—the Governing Council of the Bank of Canada—receive in the two or three weeks leading up to a decision on the setting of the policy rate—the target overnight interest rate. The article also describes how the Governing Council reaches this decision.

Corporate Bond Spreads and the Business Cycle

Staff Working Paper 2002-15 Zhiwei Zhang
This paper examines the predictive power of credit spreads from the corporate bond market. The high-yield bond spread and investment-grade spread can explain 68 per cent and 42 per cent of output variations one year ahead, while the term spread based on government debts can explain only 12 per cent of them.

Forecasting GDP Growth Using Artificial Neural Networks

Staff Working Paper 1999-3 Greg Tkacz, Sarah Hu
Financial and monetary variables have long been known to contain useful leading information regarding economic activity. In this paper, the authors wish to determine whether the forecasting performance of such variables can be improved using neural network models. The main findings are that, at the 1-quarter forecasting horizon, neural networks yield no significant forecast improvements. […]
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