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The Fed's response to economic news explains the "Fed information effect"

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  • Bauer, Michael D.
  • Swanson, Eric T.

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. The authors 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. They provide substantial new evidence that distinguishes between these two channels and strongly favors the latter; for example, regressions that include the previously omitted public macroeconomic news, high-frequency stock market responses to Fed announcements, and a new survey that they conduct of individual Blue Chip forecasters all indicate that the Fed and private sector are simply responding to the same public news, and that there is little if any role for a "Fed information effect".

Suggested Citation

  • Bauer, Michael D. & Swanson, Eric T., 2021. "The Fed's response to economic news explains the "Fed information effect"," IMFS Working Paper Series 155, Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:imfswp:155
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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).
    3. Benjamin Gardner & Chiara Scotti & Clara Vega, 2021. "Words Speak as Loudly as Actions: Central Bank Communication and the Response of Equity Prices to Macroeconomic Announcements," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-074, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. 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).
    5. 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).
    6. 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.).
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Maik Schmeling & Andreas Schrimpf & Sigurd A. M. Steffensen, 2022. "Monetary policy expectation errors," BIS Working Papers 996, Bank for International Settlements.
    10. 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).
    11. 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.
    12. 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).
    13. Jarociński, Marek, 2020. "Central bank information effects and transatlantic spillovers," Working Paper Series 2482, European Central Bank.
    14. 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).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Federal Reserve; forecasts; survey; Blue Chip; Delphic forward guidance;
    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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