482 Works

Canada’s Experience with Trade Policy

Karyne B. Charbonneau, Daniel de Munnik & Laura Murphy
This paper compiles the contemporary view on three major Canadian-led trade policies that have marked Canada’s economic history since Confederation: the National Policy (1879), the Canada–US Agreement on Automotive Products (Auto Pact, 1965) and the Canada–US Free Trade Agreement (FTA, 1989, including its extension to the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, 1994). The National Policy imposed broad-based tariff increases on imported manufactured goods with the primary intention to promote the development of the Canadian...

A Calibrated Model of Intraday Settlement

Héctor Pérez Saiz, Siddharth Untawala & Gabriel Xerri
This paper estimates potential exposures, netting benefits and settlement gains by merging retail and wholesale payments into batches and conducting multiple intraday settlements in this hypothetical model of a single "calibrated payments system." The results demonstrate that credit risk exposures faced by participants in the system are largely dependent on their relative activity in the retail and wholesale payments systems. Participants experience lower exposures in the calibrated system owing to increased netting and significant gains...

A Policy Framework for E-Money: A Report on Bank of Canada Research

Seyed Mohammadreza Davoodalhosseini & Francisco Rivadeneyra
We present a policy framework for electronic money and payments. The framework poses a set of positive questions related to the areas of responsibility of central banks: payments systems, monetary policy and financial stability. The questions are posed to four broad forms of e-money: privately or publicly issued, and with centralized or decentralized verification of transactions. This framework is intended to help evaluate the trade-offs that central banks face in the decision to issue new...

Global Real Activity for Canadian Exports: GRACE

Andre Binette, Tony Chernis & Daniel de Munnik
Canadian exports have often disappointed since the Great Recession. The apparent disconnect between exports and the Bank of Canada’s current measure of foreign demand has created an impetus to search for an alternative. Based on a dynamic factor model (DFM) methodology, we use a broad range of international economic indicators (close to 300) to estimate external demand for Canadian exports. The new measure, Global Real Activity for Canadian Exports (GRACE), follows Binette et al. (2014)...

Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty: Practice Versus Theory

Rhys R. Mendes, Stephen Murchison & Carolyn A. Wilkins
For central banks, conducting policy in an environment of uncertainty is a daily fact of life. This uncertainty can take many forms, ranging from incomplete knowledge of the correct economic model and data to future economic and geopolitical events whose precise magnitudes and effects cannot be known with certainty. The objective of this paper is to summarize and compare the main results that have emerged in the literature on optimal monetary policy under uncertainty with...

Communicating Uncertainty in Monetary Policy

Sharon Kozicki & Jill Vardy
While central banks cannot provide complete foresight with respect to their future policy actions, it is in the interests of both central banks and market participants that central banks be transparent about their reaction functions and how they may evolve in response to economic developments, shocks, and risks to their outlooks. This paper outlines the various ways in which the Bank of Canada seeks to explain its economic outlook and monetary policy decisions, with an...

Who Pays? CCP Resource Provision in the Post-Pittsburgh World

Jorge Cruz Lopez & Ben Fung
At the Pittsburgh Summit in 2009, G20 countries announced their commitment to clear all standardized over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives through central counterparties (CCPs). Since then, CCPs have become increasingly important and there has been an extensive program of regulatory enhancements to both them and OTC derivatives markets. However, as OTC clearing has grown, tensions have emerged among market participants over CCPs’ traditional model of resource provision through loss mutualization. We argue that most of these tensions...

A New Measure of the Canadian Effective Exchange Rate

Russell Barnett, Karyne B. Charbonneau & Guillaume Poulin-Bellisle
Canada’s international competitiveness has received increasing attention in recent years as exports have fallen short of expectations and Canada has lost market share. This paper asks whether the Bank of Canada’s current effective exchange rate measure, the CERI, is still an accurate measure of Canada’s international competitiveness. Overall, while the CERI represented an improvement over previous measures when it was introduced, we find that it has several drawbacks that make it less well suited to...

Credit Risk and Collateral Demand in a Retail Payment System

Héctor Pérez Saiz & Gabriel Xerri
The recent financial crisis has led to the development of new regulations to control risk in designated payment systems, and the implementation of new credit risk management standards is one of the key issues. In this paper, we study various credit risk management schemes for the Canadian retail payment system (ACSS) that are designed to cover the exposure of a defaulting member. We consider schemes that use a collateral pool calculated using a rolling time...

Using Speed and Credit Limits to Address the Procyclicality of Initial Margin at Central Counterparties

Nikil Chande & Nicholas Labelle
This paper proposes a practical approach to address the procyclicality of initial margin at central counterparties (CCPs) that can work even in periods of extreme stress. The approach allows CCPs to limit the speed of margin increases resulting from spikes in market volatility. To maintain the desired level of risk protection, the model covers, through loss-sharing arrangements, a chosen number of the largest shares of the margin increases that are deemed procyclical. To facilitate adoption...

2013 Methods-of-Payment Survey Results

Christopher Henry, Kim Huynh & Rallye Shen
As the sole issuer of bank notes, the Bank of Canada conducts methods-of-payment (MOP) surveys to obtain a detailed and representative snapshot of Canadian payment choices, with a focus on cash usage. Overall, cash usage at the point of sale has decreased since 2009, constituting 44 per cent of payment volume and 23 per cent in terms of value, and the median value of a cash transaction is about $9. Respondents’ perceptions and demographic factors...

Public Policy Objectives and the Next Generation of CPA Systems: An Analytical Framework

James Chapman, Jonathan Chiu, Sajjad Jafri & Héctor Pérez Saiz
The payments landscape in Canada is rapidly changing and will continue to evolve, fuelled by strong and persistent drivers. In Canada, the Canadian Payments Association (CPA) is on a path to modernize Canada’s core payment systems. This paper contributes to the discussion in three ways. First, it translates the government’s public policy objectives (PPOs) for the broad payments ecosystem into desired outcomes for CPA payment systems. Second, it develops a taxonomy for clearly describing the...

The Optimal Level of the Inflation Target: A Selective Review of the Literature and Outstanding Issues

Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Rhys R. Mendes
Bank of Canada research done prior to the most recent renewal of the inflation-control agreement in 2011 concluded that the benefits associated with a target below 2 per cent were insufficient to justify the increased risk of being constrained by the zero lower bound (ZLB) on nominal interest rates. International experience and analysis since the 2011 renewal has reinforced the importance of the ZLB. Despite the deployment of unconventional monetary policy measures by many central...

Forward Guidance at the Effective Lower Bound: International Experience

Karyne B. Charbonneau & Lori Rennison
Forward guidance is one of the policy tools that a central bank can implement if it seeks to provide additional monetary stimulus when it is operating at the effective lower bound (ELB) on interest rates. It became more widely used during and after the global financial crisis. This paper reviews the international experience, based on the six central banks that have used forward guidance when operating at the ELB, in order to assess its effectiveness...

Canadian Non-Energy Exports: Past Performance and Future Prospects

Andre Binette, Daniel de Munnik & Émilien Gouin-Bonenfant
Canada has continued to lose market share in the United States since the Great Recession, beyond what our bilateral competitiveness measures (relative unit labour costs) would suggest. In this context, we have studied 31 non‐energy export categories to assess their individual performance against a category-specific foreign activity measure or benchmark, and to identify which export subaggregates will likely be supported by the recent depreciation of the Canadian dollar. Our main findings are: (i) among the...

Forecasting Short-Term Real GDP Growth in the Euro Area and Japan Using Unrestricted MIDAS Regressions

Maxime Leboeuf & Louis Morel
In this paper, the authors develop a new tool to improve the short-term forecasting of real GDP growth in the euro area and Japan. This new tool, which uses unrestricted mixed data sampling (U-MIDAS) regressions, allows an evaluation of the usefulness of a wide range of indicators in predicting short-term real GDP growth. In line with previous Bank studies, the results suggest that the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) is among the best performing indicators to...

The Neutral Rate of Interest in Canada

Rhys R. Mendes
A measure of the neutral policy interest rate can be used to gauge the stance of monetary policy. We define the neutral rate as the real policy rate consistent with output at its potential level and inflation equal to target after the effects of all cyclical shocks have dissipated. This is a medium to longer-run concept of the neutral rate. Under this definition, the neutral rate in Canada is determined by the longer-run forces that...

Asking About Wages: Results from the Bank of Canada’s Wage Setting Survey of Canadian Companies

David Amirault, Paul Fenton & Thérèse Laflèche
The Bank of Canada conducted a Wage Setting Survey with a sample of 200 private sector firms from mid-October 2007 to May 2008. Results indicate that wage adjustments for the Canadian non-union private workforce are overwhelmingly time dependent, with a fixed duration of one year, and are clustered in the first four months of the year, suggesting that wage stickiness may not be constant over the year. Ad hoc adjustments between these fixed dates are...

The U.S.-Dollar Supranational Zero-Coupon Curve

Francisco Rivadeneyra
The author describes the construction of the U.S.-dollar-denominated zero-coupon curve for the supranational asset class from 1995 to 2010. He uses yield data from a cross section of bonds issued by AAA-rated supranational entities to fit the Svensson (1995) term-structure model. Results show the expected pattern of interest rates over the U.S. business cycle. The author computes the spreads relative to the U.S. Treasury zero-coupon yields data of Gürkaynak, Sack and Wright (2007). The average...

Canadian Bank Balance-Sheet Management: Breakdown by Types of Canadian Financial Institutions

David Xiao Chen, H. Evren Damar, Hani Soubra & Yaz Terajima
The authors document leverage, capital and liquidity ratios of banks in Canada. These ratios are important indicators of different types of risk with respect to a bank’s balance‐sheet management. Particular attention is given to the observations by different types of banks, including small banks that historically received less attention. In addition, the authors compare leverage and capital ratios for banks in Canada and the United States in the period leading up to the recent crisis....

External Stability, Real Exchange Rate Adjustment and the Exchange Rate Regime in Emerging-Market Economies

Olivier Gervais, Lawrence L. Schembri & lena suchanek
In emerging-market economies, real exchange rate adjustment is critical for maintaining a sustainable current account position and thereby for helping to reduce macroeconomic and financial instability. The authors examine empirically two related hypotheses: (i) that real exchange rate flexibility and adjustment promotes external stability, and (ii) that a flexible nominal exchange rate facilitates real exchange rate adjustment. Based on an event-study analysis for a large set of emerging-market economies over the period 1975–2008, the authors...

Improving Overnight Loan Identification in Payments Systems

Mark Rempel
Information on the allocation and pricing of over-the-counter (OTC) markets is scarce. Furfine (1999) pioneered an algorithm that provides transaction-level data on the OTC interbank lending market. The veracity of the data identified, however, is not well established. Using permutation methods, I estimate an upper bound on the daily false positive rate of this algorithm to be slightly above 10%. I propose refinements that reduce the bound below 10% with negligible power loss. The results...

Credit Cards: Disentangling the Dual Use of Borrowing and Spending

Olga Bilyk & Brian Peterson
Over the past 15 years, aggregate credit card balances have been increasing, except for a brief spell in the aftermath of the 2007–09 financial crisis. Determining whether the growing balances are due to increased usage of credit cards as a method of payment or whether they reflect increased short-term borrowing is challenging because aggregate balances are snapshots of charges on credit cards before households make their monthly payments. In this note, we exploit household-level survey...

Did Canadian Corporate Bond Funds Increase their Exposures to Risks?

Rohan Arora, Nadeem Merali & Guillaume Ouellet Leblanc
Canadian corporate bond mutual funds have rapidly increased in number and size in recent years. Their holdings have also become riskier, increasing their exposures to credit risk, interest rate risk and liquidity risk. We also briefly discuss financial stability implications.

Global Factors and Inflation in Canada

Dany Brouillette & Laurence Savoie-Chabot
This note investigates whether the recent weakness in inflation in Canada can be related to global factors not included in the current staff analytical framework (domestic slack, movements in commodity prices and in the exchange rate). A global common factor for inflation among selected advanced economies appears to contain marginal information for Canadian inflation beyond what is found in movements in commodity prices and the exchange rate. However, our analysis of potential channels (import prices,...

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