Price-Level Targeting and Relative-Price Shocks
Stephen Murchison reviews the findings of recent Bank of Canada research on the relative merits of inflation targeting and price-level targeting (PLT) for a small open economy, such as Canada's, that is susceptible to large and persistent terms-of-trade shocks. These shocks have been identified as a potential threat to PLT, since central bankers have to induce large fluctuations in output if they are to unwind all pass-through to the price level. The balance of evidence suggests that PLT and inflation targeting, implemented through simple policy rules, are fairly similar in their ability to stabilize inflation, the output gap, and interest rates. The author shows that this conclusion is robust to the inclusion of several types of relative-price shocks, including shocks to the terms of trade. Research on the optimal price index under PLT is also discussed, and Murchison concludes that, conditional on adopting PLT, the overall CPI would represent close to an ideal index to target.
Volume (Year): 2010 (2010)
Issue (Month): Summer ()
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