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Has the Inclusion of Forward-Looking Statements in Monetary Policy Communications Made the Bank of Canada More Transparent?

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  • Christine Fay
  • Toni Gravelle

Abstract

To investigate the extent to which the transparency of the Bank of Canada's monetary policy has improved, the authors examine empirically -- over the period 30 October 2000 to 31 May 2007 -- the reaction of Canadian financial markets to official Bank communications, and in particular their reaction to the recent inclusion of forwardlooking policy-rate guidance in these communications. The authors find evidence that fixed announcement date (FAD) press releases, and, to a lesser extent, speeches by Governing Council members, significantly affect near-term interest rate expectations, indicating that central bank communication conveys important information to market participants. However, the authors' results also show that FAD press releases and speeches do not significantly impact market rates over the more recent period, when forward-looking statements have been used on a regular basis. The authors investigate two explanations for this change in response: (i) market participants better understand the Bank's monetary policy reaction function as they become accustomed to the FAD regime; or, (ii) market participants focus more on the forward-looking statements and less on the Bank's discussion of the economic outlook, and therefore respond less than before to new macroeconomic data releases. The authors find evidence to support the second explanation: forward-looking statements -- even though they have been designed to be conditional -- have made the Bank's decisions on the policy rate more predictable, but not necessarily more transparent.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine Fay & Toni Gravelle, 2010. "Has the Inclusion of Forward-Looking Statements in Monetary Policy Communications Made the Bank of Canada More Transparent?," Discussion Papers 10-15, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocadp:10-15
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    File URL: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/res/dp/2010/dp10-15.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Andrew T. Levin & Eric T. Swanson, 2006. "Does inflation targeting anchor long-run inflation expectations? evidence from long-term bond yields in the U.S., U.K., and Sweden," Working Paper Series 2006-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    2. Refet Gürkaynak & Justin Wolfers, 2005. "Macroeconomic Derivatives: An Initial Analysis of Market-Based Macro Forecasts, Uncertainty, and Risk," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2005, pages 11-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. van der Cruijsen, Carin A.B. & Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Hoogduin, Lex H., 2010. "Optimal central bank transparency," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1482-1507, December.
    4. Refet S Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(1), May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Ehrmann & Jonathan Talmi, 2016. "Starting from a Blank Page? Semantic Similarity in Central Bank Communication and Market Volatility," Staff Working Papers 16-37, Bank of Canada.
    2. Bo Young Chang & Bruno Feunou, 2013. "Measuring Uncertainty in Monetary Policy Using Implied Volatility and Realized Volatility," Staff Working Papers 13-37, Bank of Canada.
    3. Scott Hendry, 2012. "Central Bank Communication or the Media’s Interpretation: What Moves Markets?," Staff Working Papers 12-9, Bank of Canada.
    4. Araujo, Luiz Nelson, 2016. "Dissemination of Information by the Federal Reserve System: An Overview and Benchmark," MPRA Paper 73185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Ianthi Vayid, 2013. "Central Bank Communications Before, During and After the Crisis: From Open-Market Operations to Open-Mouth Policy," Staff Working Papers 13-41, Bank of Canada.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Interest rates; Central bank research; Transmission of monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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