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May 12, 1998

Measurement biases in the Canadian CPI: An update

The consumer price index (CPI) is used to measure changes in the price level of consumer goods and services. As an indicator of changes in the cost of living, it is susceptible to various types of measurement biases. This article provides estimates of the size of these biases in the Canadian CPI. It concludes that the rate of increase in the CPI probably overstates the rate of increase in the cost of living by about 0.5 percentage points per year.
May 11, 1998

The use of forward rate agreements in Canada

In this article, the authors identify forward rate agreements, or FRAs, as short-term interest rate guarantee instruments negotiated by two parties, one of which is typically a bank. In outlining the main features of FRAs, the authors contrast them with BAX contracts (futures contracts on bankers' acceptances that are negotiated through the Montreal Exchange). The article then describes how market participants use FRAs to cover short-term interest rate risk. The final section deals with the way the Bank of Canada uses information from the FRA market as an indicator of interest rate expectations. Econometric models used to retrieve information from FRA rates, as well as the underlying assumptions, are discussed in an appendix.
April 23, 1998

Opening Statement before the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

Opening statement Gordon Thiessen Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce
My colleagues and I look forward to our yearly appearance before your committee because it gives us an opportunity to present an account of how the Bank has worked to fulfil its objectives over the past year. It is also an opportunity for a discussion with you on a range of economic and monetary issues. […]

Uncertainty and Multiple Paradigms of the Transmission Mechanism

Staff Working Paper 1998-7 Walter Engert, Jack Selody
An important challenge facing central banks is making decisions under uncertainty about the dynamic effects of monetary policy actions. The authors stress the importance of explicitly recognizing uncertainty about the transmission mechanism when formulating policy advice. They argue that one way to manage monetary policy under uncertainty is to draw on both an output-gap paradigm […]

Forecasting Inflation with the M1-VECM: Part Two

Staff Working Paper 1998-6 Walter Engert, Scott Hendry
A central bank's main concern is the general direction of future inflation, and not transitory fluctuations of the inflation rate. As a result, this paper is concerned with forecasting a simple measure of the trend of inflation, the eight-quarter CPI-inflation rate. The primary objective is to improve the M1-based vector-error-correction model (VECM) developed by Hendry […]

Predicting Canadian Recessions Using Financial Variables: A Probit Approach

Staff Working Paper 1998-5 Joseph Atta-Mensah, Greg Tkacz
This paper examines the ability of a number of financial variables to predict Canadian recessions. Regarding methodology, we follow closely the technique employed by Estrella and Mishkin (1998), who use a probit model to predict U.S. recessions up to eight quarters in advance. Our main finding is that the spread between the yield on Canadian […]
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