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Has the Inclusion of Forward-Looking Statements in Monetary Policy Communications Made the Bank of Canada More Transparent?

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  • Christine Fay
  • Toni Gravelle

Abstract

To investigate the extent to which the transparency of the Bank of Canada's monetary policy has improved, the authors examine empirically -- over the period 30 October 2000 to 31 May 2007 -- the reaction of Canadian financial markets to official Bank communications, and in particular their reaction to the recent inclusion of forwardlooking policy-rate guidance in these communications. The authors find evidence that fixed announcement date (FAD) press releases, and, to a lesser extent, speeches by Governing Council members, significantly affect near-term interest rate expectations, indicating that central bank communication conveys important information to market participants. However, the authors' results also show that FAD press releases and speeches do not significantly impact market rates over the more recent period, when forward-looking statements have been used on a regular basis. The authors investigate two explanations for this change in response: (i) market participants better understand the Bank's monetary policy reaction function as they become accustomed to the FAD regime; or, (ii) market participants focus more on the forward-looking statements and less on the Bank's discussion of the economic outlook, and therefore respond less than before to new macroeconomic data releases. The authors find evidence to support the second explanation: forward-looking statements -- even though they have been designed to be conditional -- have made the Bank's decisions on the policy rate more predictable, but not necessarily more transparent.

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File URL: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/res/dp/2010/dp10-15.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Discussion Papers with number 10-15.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocadp:10-15

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Web page: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/

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Keywords: Interest rates; Central bank research; Transmission of monetary policy;

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References

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  1. Cruijsen, C.A.B. van der & Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoogduin, L.H., 2010. "Optimal Central Bank transparency," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4163962, Tilburg University.
  2. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Justin Wolfers, 2005. "Macroeconomic derivatives: an initial analysis of market-based macro forecasts, uncertainty, and risk," Working Paper Series 2005-26, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Refet Gürkaynak & Brian Sack, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 323, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Andrew T. Levin & Eric T. Swanson, 2006. "Does inflation targeting anchor long-run inflation expectations? evidence from long-term bond yields in the U.S., U.K., and Sweden," Working Paper Series 2006-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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Cited by:
  1. Bo Young Chang & Bruno Feunou, 2013. "Measuring Uncertainty in Monetary Policy Using Implied Volatility and Realized Volatility," Working Papers 13-37, Bank of Canada.
  2. Scott Hendry, 2012. "Central Bank Communication or the Media’s Interpretation: What Moves Markets?," Working Papers 12-9, Bank of Canada.
  3. Ianthi Vayid, 2013. "Central Bank Communications Before, During and After the Crisis: From Open-Market Operations to Open-Mouth Policy," Working Papers 13-41, Bank of Canada.

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