Business and Economics > Forecasting

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Nils Mæhle, Tibor Hlédik, Mikhail Pranovich, Carina Selander, and Mikhail Pranovich
This paper takes stock of forecasting and policy analysis system capacity development (FPAS CD), drawing extensively on the experience and lessons learned from developing FPAS capacity in the central banks. By sharing the insights gained during FPAS CD delivery and outlining the typical tools developed in the process, the paper aims to facilitate the understanding of FPAS CD within the IMF and to inform future CD on building macroeconomic frameworks. As such, the paper offers a qualitative assessment of the experience with FPAS CD delivery and the use of FPAS in the decision-making process in central banks.
Bertrand Gruss, Mrs. Sandra V Lizarazo Ruiz, and Mr. Francesco Grigoli
Anchoring of inflation expectations is of paramount importance for central banks’ ability to deliver stable inflation and minimize price dispersion. Relying on daily interest rates and inflation forecasts from major financial institutions in the United States, we calculate monetary policy surprises of individual analysts as the unexpected changes in the federal funds rate before the meetings of the Federal Reserve Board. We then assess the effect of monetary policy surprises on the dispersion of inflation expectations, a proxy for the extent of anchoring, which is based on the same analysts’ inflation projections submit-ted after the Fed meetings. With an identification strategy that hinges on a tight window around the Fed meetings, we find that monetary policy surprises lead to an increase in the dispersion of inflation expectations up to nine months after the policy meeting. We rationalize these results with a partial equilibrium model that features rational expectations and sticky information. When we allow the degree of information rigidity to depend on the realization of firm-specific shocks, the theoretical results are qualitatively consistent and quantitatively close to the empirical evidence.
Mr. Troy D Matheson
Against the backdrop of an ongoing review of the inflation-targeting framework, this paper examines the real-time inflation forecasts of the Bank of Canada with the aim of identifying potential areas for improvement. Not surprisingly, the results show that errors in forecasting non-core inflation (commodity prices etc.) are found to be the largest contributors to overall inflation forecast errors. Perhaps more importantly, relatively small core inflation forecast errors appear to mask large and offsetting errors related to the output gap and the policy interest rate, partly reflecting a tendency to overestimate the neutral nominal policy rate in real time. Faced with these uncertainties, the Governing Council’s gradual approach to changing its policy settings appears to have served it well.
Ms. Katerina Smídková, Viktor Kotlán, David Navrátil, and Mr. Ales Bulir
Inflation-targeting central banks have a respectable track record at explaining their policy actions and corresponding inflation outturns. Using a simple forward-looking policy rule and an assessment of inflation reports, we provide a new methodology for the empirical evaluation of consistency in central bank communication. We find that the three communication tools-inflation targets, inflation forecasts, and verbal assessments of inflation factors contained in quarterly inflation reports-provided a consistent message in five out of six observations in our 2000-05 sample of Chile, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Thailand, and Sweden.
Mr. Martin Cihak, Ms. Katerina Smídková, and Mr. Ales Bulir
The paper presents a methodology for measuring the clarity of central bank communication, illustrating it with the case of the European Central Bank (ECB) in 1999-2007. The analysis identifies the ECB's written communication as clear about 95 percent of instances, which is comparable to, or even better than, other central banks for which a similar analysis is available. We also find that the additional information contained in the ECB's Monthly Bulletins helps to improve communication clarity compared to ECB's press releases. In particular, the Bulletins contain useful clarifying information on individual inflation factors and the overall forecast risk; in contrast, the bulletin's communication on monetary shocks has a negative, albeit small, impact on clarity.
Mr. Ales Bulir and Ms. Katerina Smídková
The Czech National Bank has a respectable track record in terms of its policy actions and the corresponding inflation outturns. Using a simple forward-looking policy rule, we find that its main communication tools-inflation targets, inflation forecasts, verbal assessments of the inflation risks contained in quarterly inflation reports, and the voting within the CNB Board-provided a clear message in about three out of every four observations in our 2001- 2005 sample.
Turgut Kisinbay, Mr. Eric Parrado, Mr. Rodolfo Maino, and Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko
How should a central bank organize itself to produce the best possible inflation forecast? This paper discusses elements for building a comprehensive platform for an inflation forecasting framework. It describes the exercise of forecasting inflation as a production process, which induces a strict discipline concerning data management, information gathering, the use of a suitable statistical apparatus, and the exercise of sound communication strategies to reinforce reputation and credibility. It becomes critical how a central bank organizes itself to produce relevant macroeconomic forecasts, with special consideration to product design, the essential requirements needed in the forecasting process, and key related organizational issues. In addition, the paper proposes to factor into the process the authorities' policy responses to previous inflation forecasts in order to be consistent with the spirit of the inflation targeting framework.