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How well do U.S. consumers predict the direction of change in interest rates?

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  • Baghestani, Hamid
  • Kherfi, Samer

Abstract

The Michigan survey asks U.S. consumers about their 1-year expected directional change in interest rates. For 1978-1983 when interest rates are volatile, we find a strong association between the actual and predicted changes, with no asymmetry (the proportions of incorrectly predicted upward and downward moves are statistically the same.) For 1984-2005 when interest rates are relatively stable, we find asymmetry (consumers do not accurately predict the downward moves in interest rates.) We conclude that consumer borrowing based on such expectations can undermine monetary policy effectiveness, depending both on the directional change in policy and interest rate volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Baghestani, Hamid & Kherfi, Samer, 2008. "How well do U.S. consumers predict the direction of change in interest rates?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 725-732, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:quaeco:v:48:y:2008:i:4:p:725-732
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    Cited by:

    1. Claus, Edda & Nguyen, Viet Hoang, 2020. "Monetary policy shocks from the consumer perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 159-173.
    2. Dräger, Lena & Lamla, Michael J. & Pfajfar, Damjan, 2016. "Are survey expectations theory-consistent? The role of central bank communication and news," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 84-111.
    3. Hamid Baghestani, 2010. "Predicting the direction of change in aggregate demand growth and its components," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 292-302.
    4. Dräger, L. & Lamla, M.J. & Pfajfar, D., 2013. "Are Consumer Expectations Theory-Consistent? The Role of Macroeconomic Determinants and Central Bank Communication," Other publications TiSEM 4d696071-8776-4191-a84f-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Hamid Baghestani, 2022. "Mortgage rate predictability and consumer home-buying assessments," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 46(3), pages 593-603, July.
    6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:30:y:2010:i:1:p:292-302 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hamid Baghestani, 2017. "Do US consumer survey data help beat the random walk in forecasting mortgage rates?," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 1343017-134, January.

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