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Anchoring the yield curve using survey expectations


  • Carlo Altavilla

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Raffaella Giacomini

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and cemmap and UCL)

  • Giuseppe Ragusa

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)


The dynamic behavior of the term structure of interest rates is difficult to replicate with models, and even models with a proven track record of empirical performance have underperformed since the early 2000s. On the other hand, survey expectations are accurate predictors of yields, but only for very short maturities. We argue that this is partly due to the ability of survey participants to incorporate information about the current state of the economy as well as forward-looking information such as that contained in monetary policy announcements. We show how the informational advantage of survey expectations about short yields can be exploited to improve the accuracy of yield curve forecasts given by a base model. We do so by employing a flexible projection method that anchors the model forecasts to the survey expectations in segments of the yield curve where the informational advantage exists and transmits the superior forecasting ability to all remaining yields. The method implicitly incorporates into yield curve forecasts any information that survey participants have access to, without the need to explicitly model it. We document that anchoring delivers large and significant gains in forecast accuracy for the whole yield curve, with improvements of up to 52% over the years 2000-2012 relative to the class of models that are widely adopted by financial and policy institutions for forecasting the term structure of interest rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Altavilla & Raffaella Giacomini & Giuseppe Ragusa, 2013. "Anchoring the yield curve using survey expectations," CeMMAP working papers CWP52/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:52/13

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Giacomini, Raffaella, 2014. "Economic theory and forecasting: lessons from the literature," CEPR Discussion Papers 10201, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Shin, Minchul & Zhong, Molin, 2017. "Does realized volatility help bond yield density prediction?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 373-389.
    3. Altug, Sumru & Çakmaklı, Cem, 2016. "Forecasting inflation using survey expectations and target inflation: Evidence for Brazil and Turkey," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 138-153.
    4. P. Byrne, Joseph & Cao, Shuo & Korobilis, Dimitris, 2015. "Term Structure Dynamics, Macro-Finance Factors and Model Uncertainty," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-71, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    5. Vieira, Fausto & Fernandes, Marcelo & Chague, Fernando, 2017. "Forecasting the Brazilian yield curve using forward-looking variables," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 121-131.
    6. repec:taf:jnlbes:v:35:y:2017:i:3:p:470-485 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Raffaella Giacomini & Barbara Rossi, 2015. "Forecasting in Nonstationary Environments: What Works and What Doesn't in Reduced-Form and Structural Models," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 207-229, August.
    8. Clements, Michael P., 2016. "Long-run restrictions and survey forecasts of output, consumption and investment," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 614-628.
    9. Guimarães, Rodrigo, 2014. "Expectations, risk premia and information spanning in dynamic term structure model estimation," Bank of England working papers 489, Bank of England.
    10. Kang, Kyu Ho, 2015. "The predictive density simulation of the yield curve with a zero lower bound," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 51-66.
    11. Fabian Krüger & Todd E. Clark & Francesco Ravazzolo, 2017. "Using Entropic Tilting to Combine BVAR Forecasts With External Nowcasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 470-485, July.
    12. Fausto Vieira & Fernando Chague, Marcelo Fernandes, 2016. "A dynamic Nelson-Siegel model with forward-looking indicators for the yield curve in the US," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2016_31, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    13. Raffaella Giacomini, 2014. "Economic theory and forecasting: lessons from the literature," CeMMAP working papers CWP41/14, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    14. P. Byrne, Joseph & Cao, Shuo & Korobilis, Dimitris, 2015. "Term Structure Dynamics, Macro-Finance Factors and Model Uncertainty," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-71, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    15. Raviv, Eran, 2015. "Prediction bias correction for dynamic term structure models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 112-115.
    16. repec:eee:empfin:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:209-225 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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