5.6 Summary

Comprehensive summary and insights on economic policies, fiscal and monetary strategies, and their impact on Canadian economy. Review vital concepts, challenges, frequently asked questions, and key takeaways for an effective understanding.


In this chapter, we discussed the following key aspects of economic policy:

Fiscal Policy

Fiscal policy involves the use of government spending and taxation to achieve macroeconomic goals such as full employment and sustained long-term growth. Key points include:

  • Expansionary Fiscal Policy: During economic downturns, governments increase spending and reduce taxes to stimulate growth.
  • Contractionary Fiscal Policy: In times of strong economic performance, governments reduce spending and increase taxes to prevent overheating.
  • In Canada, the federal budget is a primary tool for implementing fiscal policy.

Monetary Policy

Monetary policy aims to improve economic performance by controlling money supply and credit. The main agency involved is the Bank of Canada, which engages in the following activities:

  • Regulating Short-Term Interest Rates: Influences economic activity by adjusting the cost of borrowing.
  • Maintaining the External Value of the Canadian Dollar: Ensures stability in foreign exchange markets.
  • Additional functions include issuing and removing banknotes, acting as fiscal agent and financial advisor to the federal government.

The key tools used by the Bank of Canada include:

  • Overnight Rate: Target for the short-term interest rate.
  • Special Purchase and Resale Agreements (SPRA) and Sale and Repurchase Agreements (SRA): Manage liquidity in the banking system.
  • Drawdowns and Repositions: Influence the amount of money banks have to lend.

Challenges in Policy Implementation

Policymakers face several challenges in executing fiscal and monetary policies effectively:

  • Intervention Effectiveness: Economic policies may be ineffective if the economy is slow to respond.
  • Opposition to Intervention: Some believe that economies naturally find equilibrium without intervention.
  • National Debt: High debt levels consume resources that could otherwise be used for government expenditures, despite recent surpluses reducing overall debt.
  • Synchronization Issues: Fiscal and monetary policies are often unsynchronized, increasing costs to taxpayers.

Review Questions

Now that you have completed this chapter, consider answering the following review questions to solidify your understanding:

  1. What are the main components of fiscal policy?
  2. How does the Bank of Canada use the overnight rate to influence the economy?
  3. What are the differences between SPRAs and SRAs?
  4. Discuss the challenges faced by the federal government in implementing fiscal policies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is the main goal of fiscal policy?

A1: The main goal of fiscal policy is to achieve full employment and sustained long-term growth through the use of government spending and taxation.

Q2: How does the Bank of Canada control short-term interest rates?

A2: The Bank of Canada controls short-term interest rates primarily through setting the target for the overnight rate, engaging in SPRAs and SRAs, and managing drawdowns and redeposits.

Q3: Why are fiscal and monetary policies often unsynchronized?

A3: Fiscal and monetary policies may be unsynchronized due to differences in political timelines, economic conditions, and objectives of the agencies responsible for each type of policy.


  • Fiscal Policy: Government strategies involving taxation and spending to influence the economy.
  • Monetary Policy: Central bank actions to manage money supply and interest rates.
  • Overnight Rate: The interest rate at which major financial institutions borrow and lend overnight funds among themselves.
  • SPRA: Special Purchase and Resale Agreement, used by the central bank to add liquidity.
  • SRA: Sale and Repurchase Agreement, used by the central bank to absorb liquidity.
  • Drawdowns: Reductions in central bank deposits from commercial banks, used to manage liquidity.
  • Repositions: Increases in central bank deposits to commercial banks, affecting available lending resources.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding fiscal and monetary policies is essential for navigating and predicting economic conditions.
  • Effective policy implementation requires a balance between intervention and allowing natural economic adjustments.
  • The synchronization of fiscal and monetary policies can significantly affect their efficacy and the overall economic well-being.

By mastering these concepts, you are better equipped to understand the mechanisms driving the Canadian economy and anticipate the impact of economic policies on the market.

CSC® Exams Practice Questions

📚✨ CSC Exam Questions ✨📚

Welcome to the Knowledge Checkpoint! You'll find 10 carefully curated CSC exam practice questions designed to reinforce the key concepts covered. These questions will help you gauge your grasp of the material, identify areas that need further review, and ensure you're on the right track towards mastering the content for the Canadian Securities certification exams. Take your time, think critically, and use these quizzes as a tool to enhance your learning journey. 📘✨

Good luck!

## What is the primary goal of fiscal policy? - [ ] Regulate short-term interest rates - [ ] Control money supply and credit - [x] Pursue full employment and sustained long-term growth - [ ] Issue and remove bank notes > **Explanation:** Fiscal policy aims to achieve full employment and sustained long-term growth through government spending and taxation. ## How does the government typically adjust fiscal policy during a weak economy? - [ ] Spend less and tax more - [ ] Increase interest rates - [x] Spend more and tax less - [ ] Reduce the money supply > **Explanation:** To stimulate a weak economy, the government increases spending and reduces taxes to encourage economic activity. ## What role does the federal budget play in Canada’s fiscal policy? - [x] It is the key mechanism through which the government conducts fiscal policy - [ ] It determines bank interest rates - [ ] It controls the external value of the Canadian dollar - [ ] It manages the issuance of bank notes > **Explanation:** The federal budget outlines the government's spending and taxation plans, which are critical tools for managing fiscal policy. ## Which entity is responsible for implementing monetary policy in Canada? - [x] The Bank of Canada - [ ] The federal government - [ ] Provincial governments - [ ] Private sector banks > **Explanation:** The Bank of Canada implements monetary policy, including regulating short-term interest rates and the money supply. ## What is the main goal of monetary policy? - [ ] Full employment - [x] Improve economic performance by regulating the money supply and credit - [ ] Reduce national debt - [ ] Synchronize with fiscal policy > **Explanation:** The primary goal of monetary policy is to enhance economic performance by managing the money supply and credit conditions. ## Which tool is used by the Bank of Canada to influence short-term interest rates? - [x] The target for the overnight rate of interest - [ ] Government expenditure - [ ] Taxation policy - [ ] National budget > **Explanation:** The target for the overnight rate of interest is a key tool used by the Bank of Canada to influence short-term interest rates. ## What is a potential issue related to an interventionist economic policy? - [ ] It quickly leads to natural equilibrium - [x] It may be ineffective if the economy reacts slowly - [ ] It reduces the national debt - [ ] It increases government resources > **Explanation:** Interventionist policies might be ineffective if the economy is slow to react to changes in spending or taxation. ## What challenge does the federal government face regarding national debt? - [ ] It has no significant impact on expenditures - [x] It consumes a large portion of resources available for government expenditure - [ ] It eliminates budget surpluses - [ ] It synchronizes fiscal and monetary policies > **Explanation:** The national debt consumes substantial resources, which limits the government's ability to use funds for other expenditures. ## What happens when fiscal and monetary policies are unsynchronized? - [ ] It reduces taxpayer costs - [x] It increases the cost to taxpayers - [ ] It improves economic performance - [ ] It swiftly balances the budget > **Explanation:** When fiscal and monetary policies are not aligned, it can result in higher costs for taxpayers and reduce policy effectiveness. ## Which of the following is not a tool used by the Bank of Canada for monetary policy? - [x] Federal budget - [ ] SPRAs and SRAs - [ ] Drawdowns and redeposits - [ ] The target for the overnight rate of interest > **Explanation:** The federal budget is a tool for fiscal policy, not monetary policy. The Bank of Canada uses other tools like SPRAs, SRAs, and the overnight rate target for monetary policy.

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