Bank of Canada seeks public input for first time on 2% inflation target


OTTAWA, Aug 24 (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada is asking Canadians for the first time to provide feedback on the inflation targeting framework it uses to set monetary policy, the central bank said on Monday.

The bank has tried to keep the annual inflation rate at 2% since 1991, a goal that is reviewed jointly by the central bank and the federal government every five years.

The bank is launching an online survey asking Canadians for their thoughts about inflation and other price stability tools available to central banks. The deadline for completing the survey is Oct. 1. The bank will publish the results in the coming months.

The survey marks the first time the Bank of Canada has sought public input about the inflation target. As part of its review, the bank says it plans to compare different monetary policy frameworks.

"The Bank is committed to accountability and transparency in everything we do," Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said in a release.

In November 2018, Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said one option was for the bank to set a target path for the level of aggregate prices rather than an inflation rate. This could make monetary policy more effective, but the idea is hard to understand, Wilkins said.

"The 2% inflation target is fairly easy for people to comprehend and appreciate," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank, adding that the consultation could be a way to acclimatize people to other possible tools.

Wilkins will host a Bank of Canada workshop about the 2021 renewal of its Monetary Policy Framework on Wednesday. Macklem is scheduled to participate in a Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City panel discussion on Thursday about crisis management during the coronavirus pandemic.

(Reporting by Kelsey Johnson in Ottawa; Additional reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

((Kelsey.Johnson@thomsonreuters.com; 1-613-235-6745))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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