Showing results 1 to 10 of approximately 33.(refine search)
The Fed's Response to Economic News Explains the “Fed Information Effect”
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. We show that these empirical ...
Do macro variables help forecast interest rates?
Some recent research has suggested that macroeconomic variables, such as output and inflation, can improve interest rate forecasts. However, the evidence for this puzzling result is based on unreliable statistical tests. A new simple method more reliably assesses which variables are useful for forecasting. The results from this method suggest that some of the published evidence on the predictive power of macroeconomic variables may be spurious, supporting the more traditional view that current interest rates contain all the relevant information for predicting future interest rates.
Economic Forecasts with the Yield Curve
The term spread?the difference between long-term and short-term interest rates?is a strikingly accurate predictor of future economic activity. Every U.S. recession in the past 60 years was preceded by a negative term spread, that is, an inverted yield curve. Furthermore, a negative term spread was always followed by an economic slowdown and, except for one time, by a recession. While the current environment is somewhat special?with low interest rates and risk premiums?the power of the term spread to predict economic slowdowns appears intact.
Information in the Yield Curve about Future Recessions
The ability of the Treasury yield curve to predict future recessions has recently received a great deal of public attention. An inversion of the yield curve?when short-term interest rates are higher than long-term rates?has been a reliable predictor of recessions. The difference between ten-year and three-month Treasury rates is the most useful term spread for forecasting recessions?without any adjustment for an estimate of the underlying term premium. However, such correlations in the data do not identify cause and effect, which complicates their interpretation.
Inflation Expectations and the News
This paper provides new evidence on the importance of inflation expectations for variation in nominal interest rates, based on both market-based and survey-based measures of inflation expectations. Using the information in TIPS breakeven rates and inflation swap rates, I document that movements in inflation compensation are important for explaining variation in long-term nominal interest rates, both unconditionally as well as conditionally on macroeconomic data surprises. Daily changes in inflation compensation and changes in long-term nominal rates generally display a close statistical ...
Monetary policy and interest rate uncertainty
Market expectations about the Federal Reserve?s policy rate involve both the future path of that rate and the uncertainty surrounding that path. Fed policy actions have historically been preceded by high levels of uncertainty, which decline after the policy is made public. Recently, measures of near-term interest rate uncertainty have fallen to historical lows, due partly to a Fed policy rate near zero. Unconventional monetary policies have substantially lowered both expectations and uncertainty about the future path of the Fed?s policy rate.
Current Recession Risk According to the Yield Curve
The slope of the Treasury yield curve is a popular recession predictor with an excellent track record. The two most common alternative measures of the slope typically move together but have diverged recently, making the resulting recession signals unclear. Economic arguments and empirical evidence, including its more accurate predictions, favor the difference between 10-year and 3-month Treasury securities. Recession probabilities for the next year derived from this spread so far remain modest.
What moves the interest rate term structure?
To understand the effects of news on bond markets, it is instructive to look beyond individual maturities and consider the entire term structure of interest rates. For example, unexpected changes in monthly nonfarm payroll employment numbers cause large movements at short and medium maturities, but do not affect long-term interest rates. Inflation news affects the long end of the term structure. Monetary policy actions vary in their effects on interest rates, but cause volatility at all maturities, including distant forward rates.
Robust bond risk premia
A consensus has recently emerged that a number of variables in addition to the level, slope, and curvature of the term structure can help predict interest rates and excess bond returns. We demonstrate that the statistical tests that have been used to support this conclusion are subject to very large size distortions from a previously unrecognized problem arising from highly persistent regressors and correlation between the true predictors and lags of the dependent variable. We revisit the evidence using tests that are robust to this problem and conclude that the current consensus is wrong. ...
Monetary Policy Expectations at the Zero Lower Bound
Obtaining monetary policy expectations from the yield curve is difficult near the zero lower bound (ZLB). Standard dynamic term structure models, which ignore the ZLB, can be misleading. Shadow-rate models are better suited for this purpose, because they account for the distributional asymmetry in projected short rates induced by the ZLB. Besides providing better interest rate fit and forecasts, our shadow-rate models deliver estimates of the future monetary policy liftoff from the ZLB that are closer to survey expectations. We also document significant improvements for inference about ...