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Loud and clear? Can we hear when the SARB speaks?

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  • Monique Reid

    () (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

  • Stan du Plessis

    () (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

Abstract

Inflation targeting is a forward-looking framework for monetary policy that has brought unprecedented transparency to the process of monetary policy. This paper aims to assess the degree to which the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has, since the introduction of inflation targeting, successfully communicated to the public its policy analysis, and, in particular, the expected future policy changes. This paper follows international literature (Rosa and Verga (2007), Ehrmann and Fratszcher (2005)) in constructing a numerical index that is used to reflect the information content of the SARB’s communications, specifically the monetary policy statements that accompanied each of the MPC meetings since 2000. Relating this index to subsequent policy decisions reveals the informativeness of the index and, by implication, the informativeness of the underlying monetary policy statements. This method allows us to judge, systematically, the degree to which the MPC has communicated successfully, and the evolution of that success over the past nine years. We find evidence that the MPC has succeeded in signalling their likely future policy decision with consistency over this period.

Suggested Citation

  • Monique Reid & Stan du Plessis, 2010. "Loud and clear? Can we hear when the SARB speaks?," Working Papers 11/2010, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers110
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-945, December.
    2. Monique Reid, 2009. "The Sensitivity Of South African Inflation Expectations To Surprises," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 77(3), pages 414-429, September.
    3. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 399-474.
    4. Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher, 2007. "Transparency, Disclosure, and the Federal Reserve," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(1), pages 179-225, March.
    5. Alex Cukierman, 2009. "The Limits of Transparency," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 38(1-2), pages 1-37, February.
    6. Reeves, Rachel & Sawicki, Michael, 2007. "Do financial markets react to Bank of England communication?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 207-227, March.
    7. 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.).
    8. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 121-184 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Rosa, Carlo & Verga, Giovanni, 2007. "On the consistency and effectiveness of central bank communication: Evidence from the ECB," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 146-175, March.
    10. Alan S. Blinder, 2000. "Central-Bank Credibility: Why Do We Care? How Do We Build It?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1421-1431, December.
    11. Friedrich Heinemann & Katrin Ullrich, 2007. "Does it Pay to Watch Central Bankers’ Lips? The Information Content of ECB Wording," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(II), pages 155-185, June.
    12. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
    13. Jansen, David-Jan & De Haan, Jakob, 2005. "Talking heads: the effects of ECB statements on the euro-dollar exchange rate," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 343-361, March.
    14. Marie Musard-Gies, 2005. "Do ECB's statements steer short-term and long-term interest rates in the euro zone?," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 56, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
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    Cited by:

    1. Monique Reid & Stan du Plessis, 2011. "Talking to the inattentive Public: How the media translates the Reserve Bank’s communications," Working Papers 19/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    2. Kasai, Ndahiriwe & Naraidoo, Ruthira, 2011. "Evaluating the forecasting performance of linear and nonlinear monetary policy rules for South Africa," MPRA Paper 40699, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Tatiana Lysenko & Geoff Barnard, 2011. "Strengthening the Macroeconomic Policy Framework in South Africa," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 847, OECD Publishing.
    4. Monique Reid & Stan Du Plessis, 2011. "Talking to the inattentive public: How the media translates the Reserve Bank’s communications," Working Papers 254, Economic Research Southern Africa.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    South Africa; Inflation targeting; Central bank communication; Effective monetary policy; forward-looking policy framework;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • 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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