Mr. Ales Bulir, Jaromír Hurník, and Ms. Katerina Smídková
We offer a novel methodology for assessing the quality of inflation reports. In contrast to the existing literature, which mostly evaluates the formal quality of these reports, we evaluate their economic content by comparing inflation factors reported by the central banks with ex-post model-identified factors. Regarding the former, we use verbal analysis and coding of inflation reports to describe inflation factors communicated by central banks in real time. Regarding the latter, we use reduced-form, new Keynesian models and revised data to approximate the true inflation factors. Positive correlations indicate that the reported inflation factors were similar to the true, model-identified ones and hence mark high-quality inflation reports. Although central bank reports on average identify inflation factors correctly, the degree of forward-looking reporting varies across factors, time, and countries.
We document the transmission of monetary policy and risk-premium shocks in Hungary, by applying recent advances in the Bayesian estimation of large VAR models. The method allows extracting information from over 100 series, opening the "black box" of the transmission mechanism to provide the most comprehensive description to date of the impact of these two shocks on the economy under the inflation-targeting regime. We find novel evidence that most of the channels of transmission are operational in Hungary, in spite of large liability euroization and high foreign ownership of banks and corporations. Due to financial stability concerns, monetary policy responds procyclically to risk-premium shocks. We also find that the use of such a large panel of data improves inflation forecasting performance over smaller models and renders this model suitable for policy purposes.
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.