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Central banks need to coordinate bank of Canada:Government

Governments and
central banks need a certain amount of coordination so they can discuss
policies and consider the implications on debt levels and financial
stability over the medium-term, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz
said on Saturday.

One good
example was Canada’s 2 percent inflation target, which is jointly set
between the federal government and the central bank, he said in a
lecture to the Canadian Economics Association in Ottawa.
“Policy coordination around an agreed goal seems to hold out more promise than seeking some optimality condition,” he said.

Coordination
was important since there were limits to how much government debt and
private sector debt financial markets would tolerate, he added.

“A
tight monetary/easy fiscal policy mix means a relatively slow
accumulation of private sector debts and relatively rapid accumulation
of fiscal debt. An easy monetary/tight fiscal policy mix would deliver
the opposite dynamic,” he said.

“Either dynamic can
eventually give rise to financial stability risks,” he said. “There is a
meaningful trade-off in the policy space between the medium-term
consequences for debt of monetary and fiscal policies.”

Poloz
made clear he was not urging governments or central banks to take any
particular mix of policy actions, saying that depended on specific
circumstances.

He spoke against the
backdrop of a Canadian economy that has been hamstrung by weak crude
prices. The Bank of Canada cut interest rates twice last year to afford
the economy some protection.

Poloz later said
that as interest rates approached zero, cutting them further had a
smaller effect. That said, maintaining high levels of stimulus was the
right thing to do given the challenges facing the global economy.

“I’ve
no doubt … those headwinds are easing, but they are still there,
which is to say monetary policy is still having a big effect,” he told
reporters.

The Bank of Canada
says Canada’s recovery should benefit from a stronger economy in the
United States, which takes 75 percent of all Canadian exports. Poloz
expressed some surprise at weak U.S. job numbers released on Friday, but
said U.S. data this year had been “all pretty good.”

In
a question and answer session, Poloz said that adding even 0.1 or 0.2
percentage points to economic growth was “a huge deal.”

In
a bid to boost weak growth, Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled a
stimulus-rich budget in March, running up a much larger deficit than
initially promised.

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