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How to Improve Inflation Forecasting in Canada

Author/Editor:

Troy D Matheson

Publication Date:

September 13, 2019

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Against the backdrop of an ongoing review of the inflation-targeting framework, this paper examines the real-time inflation forecasts of the Bank of Canada with the aim of identifying potential areas for improvement. Not surprisingly, the results show that errors in forecasting non-core inflation (commodity prices etc.) are found to be the largest contributors to overall inflation forecast errors. Perhaps more importantly, relatively small core inflation forecast errors appear to mask large and offsetting errors related to the output gap and the policy interest rate, partly reflecting a tendency to overestimate the neutral nominal policy rate in real time. Faced with these uncertainties, the Governing Council’s gradual approach to changing its policy settings appears to have served it well.