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The Value of Publishing Official Central Bank Forecasts

The aim of the present analysis is to shed light on the question whether Central Banks should publish their macroeconomic forecasts, and what could possibly be gained in monetary policy if they did so. We show that disclosing the Central Bank’s assessment of the prevailing inflationary pressures in the form of a forecast improves macroeconomic performance even if this assessment is imprecise. This is because it makes policy more predictable. We are also interested in finding out the useful content of the forecasts, if published, and answering the question whether it makes a difference if these official forecasts are “unconditional” in the sense of incorporating the Central Bank’s forecasts of its own policy as well, or “conditional” on some other policy assumption. Possible conditional alternatives may include assuming unchanged instruments, however specified, or assuming the kind of policy that the private sector is estimated to expect. The analysis comes out in favour of publishing unconditional forecasts, which reveal the intended results of monetary policy. A discussion of some practical issues related to publishing official macroeconomic forecasts is also provided.

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File URL: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/julkaisut/tutkimukset/keskustelualoitteet/Documents/9922.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Finland in its series Research Discussion Papers with number 22/1999.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 31 Dec 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofrdp:1999_022
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bank of Finland, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/

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  1. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," CEPR Discussion Papers 1852, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Aaron Drew & Ben Hunt, 1998. "The Forecasting and Policy System: stochastic simulations of the core model," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series G98/6, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  3. Kuttner, Kenneth N. & Posen, Adam S., 1999. "Does talk matter after all? Inflation targeting and central bank behavior," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/04, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1997. "Inflation Targeting: Some Extensions," Seminar Papers 625, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  6. Marvin Goodfriend, 1985. "Monetary mystique : secrecy and central banking," Working Paper 85-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  7. Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 2000. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty in a Small Model of the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 7490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. D. Backus & J. Driffil, 1998. "Inflation and Reputation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625, David K. Levine.
  9. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  10. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1997. "Inflation targeting: lessons from four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 9-110.
  11. Mayes, David G. & Razzak, W. A., 1998. "Transparency and accountability: Empirical models and policy making at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 377-394, July.
  12. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren & Geoffrey M.B. Tootell, 1997. "Is banking supervision central to central banking?," Working Papers 97-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  13. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 6570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Palmqvist, Stefan, 1999. "Why Central Banks Announce Their Objectives: Monetary Policy with Discretionary Signalling," Working Paper Series 78, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  15. Canzoneri, Matthew B, 1985. "Monetary Policy Games and the Role of Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1056-70, December.
  16. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  17. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  18. Palmqvist, S., 1999. "Why Central Banks Announce their Objectives: Monetary Policy with Discretionary Signalling," Papers 663, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  19. McCallum, Bennett T, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central-Bank Independence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 207-11, May.
  20. Palmqvist, Stefan, 1999. "Why Central Banks Announce their Objectives: Monetary Policy with Discretionary Signalling," Seminar Papers 663, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  21. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
  22. David Mayes & Bryan Chapple, 1995. "The costs and benefits of disinflation: a critique of the sacrifice ration," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 58, March.
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