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Commodity Prices, Monetary Policy and Inflation

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  • José de Gregorio

Abstract

During the second half of the 2000s, the world experienced a rapid and substantial rise in commodity prices. This shock posed complex challenges for monetary policy, in particular due to the significant increase in food and energy prices, and the repercussions they had on aggregate inflation measures. This paper discusses the role of commodity price shocks in monetary policy in the light of recent episodes of such shocks. It begins by discussing whether monetary policy should target core or headline inflation, and what should be the role of commodity price shocks in setting interest rates. It is argued that there are good reasons to focus on headline inflation, as most central banks actually do. Although core inflation provides a good indicator of underlying inflationary pressures, the evolution of commodity prices should not be overlooked, because of pervasive second-round effects. This paper reviews the evidence on the rise of inflation across countries and reports that food inflation, more than energy inflation, has relevant propagation effects on core inflation. This finding is particularly important in emerging market economies, where the share of food in the consumer basket is significant. The evidence also shows that countries that had lower inflation during the run up of commodity prices before the global crisis had more inflation in the subsequent rise after the global crisis, suggesting that part of the pre-crisis inflationary success may have been due to repressed inflation. This paper also discusses other factors that may explain different inflationary performances across countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Chile, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number wp359.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:udc:wpaper:wp359

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Web page: http://www.econ.uchile.cl/
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  1. Martin Bodenstein & Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy with distinct core and headline inflation rates," International Finance Discussion Papers 941, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Michael Pedersen, 2011. "Propagation of Shocks to Food and Energy Prices: an International Comparison," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 648, Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Okano, Eiji, 2007. "The choice of the inflation rate as a target in an economy with pricing-to-market," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 48-67, January.
  4. Anand, Rahul & Prasad, Eswar, 2010. "Optimal Price Indices for Targeting Inflation under Incomplete Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 5137, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2010. "A Comparison of Monetary Anchor Options, Including Product Price Targeting, for Commodity-Exporters in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 16362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nicoletta Batini & Eugen Tereanu, 2010. "Inflation targeting during asset and commodity price booms," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 15-35, Spring.
  7. Jose de Gregorio & Oscar Landerretche & Christopher Neilson, 2007. "Another Pass-Through Bites the Dust? Oil Prices and Inflation," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  8. Luis Catão & Roberto Chang, 2010. "World Food Prices and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 16563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Juan Pablo Medina & Claudio Soto, 2005. "Oil Shocks and Monetary Policy in an Estimated DSGE Model for a Small Open Economy," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 353, Central Bank of Chile.
  10. Alfredo Pistelli & Víctor Riquelme, 2010. "Auge y caída de precios de commodities y su impacto sobre precios domésticos: Comparación internacional," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 567, Central Bank of Chile.
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Cited by:
  1. Atsushi Sekine & Takayuki Tsuruga, 2014. "Effects of Commodity Price Shocks on Inflation: A Cross Country Analysis," Discussion papers e-13-006, Graduate School of Economics Project Center, Kyoto University.

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