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Futures Contract Rates as Monetary Policy Forecasts

Author

Listed:
  • Giuseppe Ferrero

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Andrea Nobili

    (Bank of Italy)

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 countercyclical 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Ferrero & Andrea Nobili, 2009. "Futures Contract Rates as Monetary Policy Forecasts," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 5(2), pages 109-145, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2009:q:2:a:4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. James D. Hamilton & Tatsuyoshi Okimoto, 2011. "Sources of variation in holding returns for fed funds futures contracts," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(3), pages 205-229, March.
    2. Rosa, Carlo, 2013. "Market efficiency broadcasted live: ECB code words and euro exchange rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 167-178.
    3. Jean-Sébastien Fontaine, 2012. "Estimating the Policy Rule from Money Market Rates when Target Rate Changes Are Lumpy," Staff Working Papers 12-41, Bank of Canada.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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