TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2018 /CNW/ - The Bank of Canada should restore the important role of tracking the money supply as a predictor of future inflation and economic performance, according to a major new book on the conduct of monetary policy from the C.D. Howe Institute.
In "Navigating Turbulence: Canadian Monetary Policy Since 2004," authors Steve Ambler and Jeremy Kronick assess the BoC's policies from 2004, through the turbulence of the 2008/09 recession, the recovery and up to the current period. Overall, they give the Bank high marks for its stewardship. However, the Bank faces key new challenges posed by the current low-interest-rate, low-inflation environment that require response, according to the authors.
"It is our contention," says Ambler "That the successful conduct of monetary policy in today's low-interest-rate environment means giving a greater role to money – in particular, a greater role for quantitative easing." The book points out that the Bank has gradually reduced the attention it pays to money supply, even omitting monetary aggregates from its Monetary Policy Report, depriving it of a valuable metric for measuring economic stability.
The authors also recommend:
- Adopting average-inflation targeting over a longer period than the current twelve-month average of monthly inflation rates. If inflation as measured by the longer moving average is lower than the targeted rate, it would enable the Bank to correct for this deviation by allowing for inflation above target in the short run.
- A predefined mechanism to provide liquidity in cases when markets require emergency funding. The benefits of such a mechanism, including on-going design improvement and transparency for market participants, outweigh concerns over moral hazard.
- A continued focus on the role that housing and household indebtedness have on monetary policy effectiveness, and the importance of Canada's aging population in understanding how monetary policy is transmitted to the economy.
The authors argue that with lower neutral rates and demographics acting as a brake on the effectiveness of monetary policy, the Bank should continue to think about how to make monetary policy more effective in a low-interest rate, low-inflation economic environment.
The C.D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. Widely considered to be Canada's most influential think tank, the Institute is a trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review.
SOURCE C.D. Howe Institute
For further information: Steve Ambler, Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal and David Dodge Chair in Monetary Policy at the C.D. Howe Institute; Jeremy Kronick, Associate Director, Research; David Blackwood, Communications Coordinator, C.D. Howe Institute at 416-865-1904 Ext. 9997 or [email protected]