The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We study whether clarity of central bank inflation reports affects return volatility in financial markets. We measure clarity of reports by the Czech National Bank, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, and Sveriges Riksbank using the Flesch-Kincaid grade level, a standard readability measure. We find some evidence, mainly for the euro area, of a negative relationship between clarity and market volatility prior to and during the early stage of the global financial crisis. As the crisis unfolded, there is no longer robust evidence of a negative connection. We conclude that reducing noise using clear reports is possible but not without challenges, especially in times of crisis.