Council Reports

May 1, 2020 – Preliminary data suggest Canada entered a recession in the first quarter of 2020 with a February peak, says the C.D. Howe Institute’s Business Cycle Council. The Council, comprised of Canada’s preeminent economists in the field and co-chaired by Steve Ambler and Jeremy Kronick, is an arbiter of business cycle dates in Canada. The Council typically meets annually, but also when economic conditions indicate the possibility of entry to, or exit from, a recession. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuring government shutdown that put a stop to much economic activity, the Council met on April 16 to review the case for calling the beginning of a recession in the first quarter of 2020 and the dating of the...

July 4, 2019 – The C.D. Howe Institute’s Monetary Policy Council (MPC) has recommended that the Bank of Canada keep its target for the overnight rate, its benchmark policy interest rate, at 1.75 percent at its next announcement on July 10, 2019, and maintain it at that level through July 2020. The MPC provides an independent assessment of the monetary stance consistent with the Bank of Canada’s 2 percent inflation target. William Robson, the Institute’s President and CEO, chairs the Council. Council members make recommendations for the Bank of Canada’s upcoming interest-rate announcement, the subsequent announcement, and the announcements six months and one year ahead. The Council’s formal recommendation for each...

The C.D. Howe Institute’s Business Cycle Council met on Wednesday December 13 to review its assessments of Canadian business cycle dates. The C.D. Howe Institute Business Cycle Council, chaired by Steve Ambler, is an arbiter of business cycle dates in Canada. The Council meets on an annual basis, or as warranted when economic conditions indicate the possibility of entry to, or exit from, a recession. The Council also acts as a conduit for research aimed at developing a deeper understanding of how the economy evolves and to provide guidance to policymakers. The Council defines a recession as a pronounced, persistent, and pervasive decline in aggregate economic activity. In deciding on the occurrence and timing of a recession, the...