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Futures Contract Rates as Monetary Policy Forecasts

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  • Giuseppe Ferrero

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Andrea Nobili

    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

The prices of futures contracts on short-term interest rates are commonly used by central banks to gauge market expectations concerning monetary policy decisions. Excess returns - the difference between futures rates and the realized rates - are positive, on average, and statistically significant, both in the euro area and in the United States. We find that these biases are significantly related to the business cycle only in the United States. Moreover, the sign and the significance of the estimated relationships with business-cycle indicators are unstable over time. Breaking the excess returns down into risk-premium and forecast-error components, we find that risk premia are countercyclical in both areas. On the contrary, ex post prediction errors, which represent the greater part of excess returns at longer horizons in both areas, are negatively correlated with the business cycle only in the United States.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Journal of Central Banking in its journal International Journal of Central Banking.

Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 109-145

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2009:q:2:a:4

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  1. Monika Piazzesi & Eric Swanson, 2004. "Future prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  2. Campbell, John, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," Scholarly Articles 3163264, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. J. Benson Durham, 2003. "Estimates of the term premium on near-dated federal funds futures contracts," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Marcello Pericoli & Marco Taboga, 2006. "Canonical term-structure models with observable factors and the dynamics of bond risk premiums," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 580, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  5. Philippe Bacchetta & Elmar Mertens & Eric van Wincoop, 2006. "Predictability in Financial Markets: What Do Survey Expectations Tell Us?," Working Papers 102006, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  6. Rapach, David E. & Weber, Christian E., 2004. "Are real interest rates really nonstationary? New evidence from tests with good size and power," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 409-430, September.
  7. Gurkaynak, Refet S. & Sack, Brian T. & Swanson, Eric P., 2007. "Market-Based Measures of Monetary Policy Expectations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 201-212, April.
  8. Ang, Andrew & Piazzesi, Monika & Wei, Min, 2006. "What does the yield curve tell us about GDP growth?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 359-403.
  9. Andrew Ang & Sen Dong & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "No-arbitrage Taylor rules," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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Cited by:
  1. Jean-Sébastien Fontaine, 2012. "Estimating the Policy Rule from Money Market Rates when Target Rate Changes Are Lumpy," Working Papers 12-41, Bank of Canada.
  2. Rosa, Carlo, 2013. "Market efficiency broadcasted live: ECB code words and euro exchange rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 167-178.

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