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Credibility and Monetary Policy

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A highly credible monetary policy helps to reduce the degree of uncertainty that can surround the objectives of such policy. When the monetary policy pursued by the central bank is credible, the expectations of the public are focused on a target. If the public believes that the Bank will act to bring inflation back to the target, then its expectations will not react so strongly to fluctuating price trends. In turn, fluctuations in inflation, interest rates, output, and employment should be less pronounced than in the absence of such credibility. The adoption of inflation control as a monetary policy objective by some countries has led central banks to take steps to enhance the credibility of monetary policy. For the Bank of Canada, these include the publication of our Monetary Policy Report each May and November, with formal updates each February and August the initiation of communications activities across the country the use of the overnight interest rate as a short-term operating target the issuing of a press release each time the Bank changes its key rates. To date, most of the studies on this topic have concluded that success in keeping inflation within a target range has helped to increase the credibility of Canadian monetary policy. These surveys suggest that expected inflation, which stood at about 5 per cent in 1990, declined to around 2 per cent by 1999 (Chart 1, page 15). Indeed, according to these surveys, for the entire period during which the Bank has had a target range for inflation, expected inflation rates have remained within that range. Inflation expectations have also reacted very little to changes in the total CPI, suggesting that the targets have helped to focus expectations on the target rate and have thus enhanced the credibility of monetary policy (Chart 2, page 16). One particular study shows that the life of collective wage agreements in Canada has been increasing and that the number of such agreements containing cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) clauses has steadily declined. The authors of this study suggest that this may reflect the greater credibility of Canadian monetary policy (Table 1, page 16). The proportion of mortgages with five-year terms is now higher than it was in the mid-1980s, and many financial institutions have been offering 7-to 10-year mortgages. This also suggests that inflation targets have gained credibility.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Bank of Canada in its journal Bank of Canada Review.

Volume (Year): 2000 (2000)
Issue (Month): Spring ()
Pages: 11-17

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Handle: RePEc:bca:bcarev:v:2000:y:2000:i:spring00:p:11-17

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Cited by:
  1. Maria Demertzis & Massimiliano Marcellino & Nicola Viegi, 2009. "Anchors for Inflation Expectations," DNB Working Papers, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department 229, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  2. Ravenna, Federico, 2005. "The European Monetary Union as a commitment device for new EU member states," Working Paper Series, European Central Bank 0516, European Central Bank.
  3. Paul Jenkins & Brian O'Reilly, 2001. "Monetary Policy and the Economic Well-being of Canadians," The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress, Centre for the Study of Living Standards;The Institutute for Research on Public Policy, in: Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director & France St-Hilaire, Vice-President , Research & Keith Banting, Di (ed.), The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2001: The Longest Decade: Canada in the 1990s, volume 1 Centre for the Study of Living Standards;The Institutute for Research on Public Policy.
  4. Malikane, Christopher & Mokoka, Tshepo, 2012. "Monetary policy credibility: A Phillips curve view," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 266-271.
  5. Dodge, David, 2002. "Inflation targeting in Canada: Experience and lessons," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 113-124, August.
  6. Claudio Borio & William English & Andrew Filardo, 2003. "A tale of two perspectives: old or new challenges for monetary policy?," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 1-59 Bank for International Settlements.
  7. Virginie Traclet, 2004. "Monetary and Fiscal Policies in Canada: Some Interesting Principles for EMU?," Working Papers, Bank of Canada 04-28, Bank of Canada.

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