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Market-based measures of monetary policy expectations

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  • Refet S. Gürkaynak
  • Brian Sack
  • Eric Swanson

Abstract

A number of recent papers have used different financial market instruments to measure near-term expectations of the federal funds rate and the high-frequency changes in these instruments around FOMC announcements to measure monetary policy shocks. This paper evaluates the empirical success of a variety of financial market instruments in predicting the future path of monetary policy. All of the instruments we consider provide forecasts that are clearly superior to those of standard time series models at all of the horizons considered. Among financial market instruments, we find that federal funds futures dominate all the other securities in forecasting monetary policy at horizons out to six months. For longer horizons, the predictive power of many of the instruments we consider is very similar. In addition, we present evidence that monetary policy shocks computed using the current-month federal funds futures contract are influenced by changes in the timing of policy actions that do not influence the expected course of policy beyond a horizon of about six weeks. We propose an alternative shock measure that captures changes in market expectations of policy over slightly longer horizons.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006-04.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2006-04

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Keywords: Monetary policy ; Federal funds rate ; Financial markets;

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References

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  1. Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2001. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: Evidence from the Fed funds futures market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 523-544, June.
  2. Charles L. Evans, 1998. "Real-time Taylor rules and the federal funds futures market," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 44-55.
  3. Piazzesi, Monika & Swanson, Eric T., 2008. "Futures prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 677-691, May.
  4. John C. Robertson & Daniel L. Thornton, 1997. "Using federal funds futures rates to predict Federal Reserve actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 45-53.
  5. Jon Faust & Eric Swanson & and Jonathan H. Wright, 2002. "Identifying vars based on high frequency futures data," International Finance Discussion Papers 720, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Roberto Rigobon & Brian P. Sack, 2002. "The Impact of Monetary Policy on Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 8794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Monika Piazzesi, 2002. "The Fed and Interest Rates - A High-Frequency Identification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 90-95, May.
  8. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2006. "Market-based measures of monetary policy expectations," Working Paper Series 2006-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Working Paper Series 2001-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Chris Downing & Stephen Oliner, 2004. "The term structure of commercial paper rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-18, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Clemon, Robert T & Winkler, Robert L, 1986. "Combining Economic Forecasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 39-46, January.
  12. Lange, Joe & Sack, Brian & Whitesell, William, 2003. " Anticipations of Monetary Policy in Financial Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 889-909, December.
  13. Söderström, Ulf, 1999. "Predicting monetary policy using federal funds futures prices," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 307, Stockholm School of Economics.
  14. Sims, Christopher A & Zha, Tao, 1998. "Bayesian Methods for Dynamic Multivariate Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 949-68, November.
  15. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 907-31, November.
  16. William Poole & Robert Rasche, 2000. "Perfecting the Market's Knowledge of Monetary Policy," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 255-298, December.
  17. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1995. "Measuring Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Bomfim, Antulio N., 2003. "Pre-announcement effects, news effects, and volatility: Monetary policy and the stock market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 133-151, January.
  19. John B. Carlson & Jean M. McIntire & James B. Thomson, 1995. "Federal funds futures as an indicator of future monetary policy: a primer," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 20-30.
  20. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2005. "What Explains the Stock Market's Reaction to Federal Reserve Policy?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1221-1257, 06.
  21. Brunner, Allan D, 2000. "On the Derivation of Monetary Policy Shocks: Should We Throw the VAR Out with the Bath Water?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 254-79, May.
  22. John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Improving forecasts of the federal funds rate in a policy model," Working Paper 99-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  23. Ellingsen, Tore & Söderström, Ulf, 1998. "Monetary Policy and Market Interest Rates," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 242, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 08 Mar 1999.
  24. Joel T. Krueger & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1995. "The Fed funds futures rate as a predictor of Federal Reserve policy," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  25. Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2005. "Using federal funds futures contracts for monetary policy analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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