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The Fed's Response to Economic News Explains the “Fed Information Effect”

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  • Michael D. Bauer
  • Eric T. Swanson

Abstract

High-frequency changes in interest rates around FOMC announcements are a standard method of measuring monetary policy shocks. However, some recent studies have documented puzzling effects of these shocks on private-sector forecasts of GDP, unemployment, or inflation that are opposite in sign to what standard macroeconomic models would predict. This evidence has been viewed as supportive of a “Fed information effect” channel of monetary policy, whereby an FOMC tightening (easing) communicates that the economy is stronger (weaker) than the public had expected. We show that these empirical results are also consistent with a “Fed response to news” channel, in which incoming, publicly available economic news causes both the Fed to change monetary policy and the private sector to revise its forecasts. We provide substantial new evidence that distinguishes between these two channels and strongly favors the latter; for example, (i) high-frequency stock market responses to Fed announcements, (ii) a new survey that we conduct of individual Blue Chip forecasters, and (iii) regressions that include the previously omitted public macroeconomic data releases all indicate that the Fed and Blue Chip forecasters are simply responding to the same public news, and that there is little if any role for a “Fed information effect”.

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  • Michael D. Bauer & Eric T. Swanson, 2020. "The Fed's Response to Economic News Explains the “Fed Information Effect”," Working Paper Series 2020-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:87543
    DOI: 10.24148/wp2020-06
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    Cited by:

    1. Sui-Jade Ho & Oezer Karagedikli, 2021. "Effects of Monetary Policy Communication in Emerging Market Economies: Evidence from Malaysia," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202126, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Gómez-Cram, Roberto & Grotteria, Marco, 2022. "Real-time price discovery via verbal communication: Method and application to Fedspeak," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(3), pages 993-1025.
    3. Hoek, Jasper & Kamin, Steve & Yoldas, Emre, 2022. "Are higher U.S. interest rates always bad news for emerging markets?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    4. De Pooter, Michiel & Favara, Giovanni & Modugno, Michele & Wu, Jason, 2021. "Monetary policy uncertainty and monetary policy surprises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    5. Gardner, Ben & Scotti, Chiara & Vega, Clara, 2022. "Words speak as loudly as actions: Central bank communication and the response of equity prices to macroeconomic announcements," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 231(2), pages 387-409.
    6. Gürkaynak, Refet S. & Kara, A. Hakan & Kısacıkoğlu, Burçin & Lee, Sang Seok, 2021. "Monetary policy surprises and exchange rate behavior," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    7. Miranda-Agrippino, Silvia & Ricco, Giovanni, 2023. "Identification with External Instruments in Structural VARs," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 1-19.
    8. De Pooter, Michiel & Favara, Giovanni & Modugno, Michele & Wu, Jason, 2021. "Reprint: Monetary policy uncertainty and monetary policy surprises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 114(C).
    9. Andrew C. Chang & Trace J. Levinson, 2020. "Raiders of the Lost High-Frequency Forecasts: New Data and Evidence on the Efficiency of the Fed's Forecasting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-090, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Jarociński, Marek, 2022. "Central bank information effects and transatlantic spillovers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    11. Karnaukh, Nina & Vokata, Petra, 2022. "Growth forecasts and news about monetary policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 55-70.
    12. Dahlhaus, Tatjana & Vasishtha, Garima, 2020. "Monetary policy news in the US: Effects on emerging market capital flows," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    13. Julien Pinter & Evzen Kocenda, 2021. "Media Treatment of Monetary Policy Surprises and Their Impact on Firms' and Consumers' Expectations," Working Papers IES 2021/30, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Sep 2021.
    14. Hamza Bennani, 2023. "Overconfidence of the chair of the Federal Reserve and market expectations: Evidence based on media coverage," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(3), pages 3403-3419, July.
    15. Yohei Yamamoto & Naoko Hara, 2022. "Identifying factor‐augmented vector autoregression models via changes in shock variances," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 37(4), pages 722-745, June.
    16. Dahlhaus, Tatjana & Vasishtha, Garima, 2021. "Reprint: Monetary policy news in the US: Effects on emerging market capital flows," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 114(C).
    17. Christopher D. Cotton, 2022. "Looking Beyond the Fed: Do Central Banks Cause Information Effects?," Working Papers 22-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    18. Leonardo Melosi & Francesco Zanetti, 2022. "The Signaling Effects of Fiscal Announcements," Working Paper Series WP 2022-38, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    19. Schmeling, Maik & Schrimpf, Andreas & Steffensen, Sigurd A.M., 2022. "Monetary policy expectation errors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 841-858.
    20. Martin Baumgärtner & Jens Klose, 2021. "Why central banks announcing liquidity injections is more effective than forward guidance," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 236-256, August.
    21. Assenmacher, Katrin & Glöckler, Gabriel & Holton, Sarah & Trautmann, Peter & Ioannou, Demosthenes & Mee, Simon & Alonso, Conception & Argiri, Eleni & Arigoni, Filippo & Bakk-Simon, Klára & Bergbauer, , 2021. "Clear, consistent and engaging: ECB monetary policy communication in a changing world," Occasional Paper Series 274, European Central Bank.
    22. Martin Baumgaertner, 2022. "Financial Markets and ECB Monetary Policy Communication – A Second QE Surprise," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202203, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    23. Ampudia, Miguel & Van den Heuvel, Skander J., 2022. "Monetary Policy and Bank Equity Values in a Time of Low and Negative Interest Rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 49-67.
    24. Maurer, Tim D. & Nitschka, Thomas, 2023. "Stock market evidence on the international transmission channels of US monetary policy surprises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Federal Reserve; Delphic forward guidance; Blue Chip; forecasts; survey;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • 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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