Bank of Canada set to reveal first public glimpse into what happens at its interest rate policy deliberations – Canada

The Bank of Canada is set to release a summary of its deliberations at its latest meeting to decide on interest rates, the first time the central bank is giving the public a look at what happens behind the scenes.

The bank last year announced it would start publishing these summaries about two weeks after its interest rate decisions in an effort to improve transparency around how its decisions are made.

That move came at the request of the International Monetary Fund, which recently reviewed practices at central banks around the world and found that Canada’s “sets a high benchmark” for transparency but could nonetheless make some improvements.

The summary, to be released at 1:30 p.m. local time in Ottawa, will cover events at the bank’s latest policy meeting, which ended on Jan. 25 with the announcement that the bank had decided to hike its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 4.5 per cent.

It was the eighth policy meeting in a row that resulted in the bank deciding to raise lending rates, a decision that makes borrowing more expensive for Canadian consumers and businesses.

Although the summary is the first time the Bank of Canada will give Canadians a peek behind the curtain at its decision-making process, many central banks around the world have already been doing that for years.

The Federal Reserve, which is the Bank of Canada’s U.S. counterpart, publishes minutes of its meetings three weeks after policy decisions.

The Fed minutes typically include details such as who was in attendance, what topics were discussed, which people argued in favour of what policy position, and even includes a tally of how many people voted for and against the eventual rate policy. The most recent Fed minutes, for the meeting in December, is more than 7,000 words long.

The Bank of Canada hasn’t said what format the deliberation summaries will take or how much detail it will provide, but it’s not expected to be anywhere near as detailed.

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