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A closer look at the sensitivity puzzle: the sensitivity of expected future short rates and term premia to macroeconomic news

  • Meredith Beechey

Nominal forward rates are sensitive at surprisingly long horizons to macroeconomic news and monetary-policy surprises. This paper takes advantage of affine term-structure modelling to demonstrate that movements in term premia, not expected future short rates, account for most of the reaction of forward rates at long horizons. Specifically, term premia account for about three quarters of the reaction of nominal forward rates 10 to 15 years hence to the surprise component of numerous macroeconomic news announcements. This has strong implications for the interpretation of interest-rate sensitivity. Contrary to some recent conjectures, long-horizon expectations of the level of inflation and real rates appear reasonably well anchored in the United States, but the associated term premia are quite variable.

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File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2007/200706/200706abs.html
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File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2007/200706/200706pap.pdf
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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2007-06.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2007-06
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  1. Don H. Kim & Jonathan H. Wright, 2005. "An arbitrage-free three-factor term structure model and the recent behavior of long-term yields and distant-horizon forward rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-33, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Niklas J. Westelius & Frederic S. Mishkin, 2006. "Inflation Band Targeting and Optimal Inflation Contracts," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 416, Hunter College Department of Economics.
  3. Athanasios Orphanides & Don H. Kim, 2005. "Term Structure Estimation with Survey Data on Interest Rate Forecasts," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 474, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Risk Premia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 138-160, March.
  5. Diebold, Francis X. & Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Borag[caron]an Aruoba, S., 2006. "The macroeconomy and the yield curve: a dynamic latent factor approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 309-338.
  6. Refet S. G├╝rkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2003. "The excess sensitivity of long-term interest rates: evidence and implications for macroeconomic models," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  7. Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2001. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: Evidence from the Fed funds futures market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 523-544, June.
  8. Gregory R. Duffee, 2002. "Term Premia and Interest Rate Forecasts in Affine Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 405-443, 02.
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