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Futures contract rates as monetary policy forecasts

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  • Ferrero, Giuseppe
  • Nobili, Andrea

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 counter-cyclical 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. JEL Classification: E43, E44, E52

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0979.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20080979

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Keywords: business cycle; excess returns; futures contracts; monetary policy expectations;

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  1. Monika Piazzesi & Eric T. Swanson, 2006. "Futures prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2006-23, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 129-152, Summer.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.).
  5. Philippe Bacchetta & Elmar Mertens & Eric van Wincoop, 2006. "Predictability in Financial Markets: What Do Survey Expectations Tell Us?," Working Papers 06.04, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  6. Andrew Ang & Sen Dong, 2005. "No-Arbitrage Taylor Rules," 2005 Meeting Papers 22, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  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. 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.
  9. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick & David A. Marshall, 1997. ""Peso Problem" Explanations for Term Structure Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 6147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Andrew Ang & Monika Piazzesi & Min Wei, 2004. "What Does the Yield Curve Tell us about GDP Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Rosa, Carlo, 2013. "Market efficiency broadcasted live: ECB code words and euro exchange rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 167-178.
  2. 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.

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