Inside the Bank of Canada's Weekly Financial Statistics: A Technical Guide


201 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-88975-082-3





Reviewed by Robert W. Sexty

Robert W. Sexty is a commerce professor at the Memorial University of
Newfoundland and author of Canadian Business: Issues and Stakeholders.


Although published by the Fraser Institute, this book is not a publication advocating a right-wing point of view. Instead, it is a straightforward description of how to read and interpret the Bank of Canada’s 16-page publication, “Weekly Financial Statistics (WFS),” released at 5 p.m. every Thursday.

The book follows the order of presentation in WFS and is comprised of eight chapters, plus an introduction and conclusion. A ten-page table of contents provides a detailed listing of topics, but an index should have been included.

Economic textbooks explain the theory of central banking, but they do not explain monetary policy as it is practised day-to-day by the bank. Martin, an economist with McLeod Young Weir, is experienced and widely quoted. He argues that the WFS is an overlooked source of information on the mechanical and technical aspects of monetary control and policy in Canada. The author claims to have written a manual, or “nuts and bolts dictionary,” that can be used to understand the WFS’s statistics, and to some extent he has.

The uninitiated should avoid this book, since to understand it requires an advanced knowledge of economics and the monetary system. This book is suitable for graduate economic students and academics, investment analysts, economists, and bankers interested in interpreting and forecasting trends and conditions in Canada’s monetary system.


Martin, Peter, “Inside the Bank of Canada's Weekly Financial Statistics: A Technical Guide,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 18, 2024,