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Transparency, expectations, and forecasts

  • Andrew Bauer
  • Robert A. Eisenbeis
  • Daniel F. Waggoner
  • Tao Zha

In 1994, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) began to release statements after each meeting. This paper investigates whether the public’s views about the current path of the economy and of future policy have been affected by changes in the Federal Reserve’s communications policy as reflected in private sector’s forecasts of future economic conditions and policy moves. In particular, has the ability of private agents to predict where the economy is going improved since 1994? If so, on which dimensions has the ability to forecast improved? We find evidence that the individuals’ forecasts have been more synchronized since 1994, implying the possible effects of the FOMC’s transparency. On the other hand, we find little evidence that the common forecast errors, which are the driving force of overall forecast errors, have become smaller since 1994.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2006-03.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2006-03
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  1. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central-bank communication and policy effectiveness," Discussion Papers 0506-07, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Vector autoregressions: forecasting and reality," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 4-18.
  4. Donald L. Kohn & Brian P. Sack, 2003. "Central bank talk: does it matter and why?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-55, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Andy Bauer & Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2003. "Forecast evaluation with cross-sectional data: The Blue Chip Surveys," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q2, pages 17-31.
  7. Robert Eisenbeis & Daniel Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2002. "Evaluating Wall Street Journal survey forecasters: a multivariate approach," Working Paper 2002-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
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