Mr. Ales Bulir, Jaromír Hurník, and Katerina Smidkova
We offer a novel methodology for assessing the quality of inflation reports. In contrast to the existing literature, which mostly evaluates the formal quality of these reports, we evaluate their economic content by comparing inflation factors reported by the central banks with ex-post model-identified factors. Regarding the former, we use verbal analysis and coding of inflation reports to describe inflation factors communicated by central banks in real time. Regarding the latter, we use reduced-form, new Keynesian models and revised data to approximate the true inflation factors. Positive correlations indicate that the reported inflation factors were similar to the true, model-identified ones and hence mark high-quality inflation reports. Although central bank reports on average identify inflation factors correctly, the degree of forward-looking reporting varies across factors, time, and countries.
I test whether inflation targeting (IT) enhances transparency using inflation forecast data for 11 IT adoption countries. IT adoption promotes convergence in forecast errors, suggesting that it enhances transparency. This effect is robust to dropping observations, is strengthened by using instrumental variable estimation to eliminate mean-reversion, and is absent in placebo regressions (where IT adoption is shifted by a year). This result supports Morris and Shin's (2002) contention that better public information is most beneficial for forecasters with bad private information. However, it does not support their hypothesis that better public information could make private forecasts less accurate.
This paper develops an approach for forecasting in Thailand core inflation. The key innovation is to anchor the projections derived from the short-term time-series properties of core inflation to its longer-run evolution. This involves combining a short-term model, which attempts to distill the forecasting power of a variety of monthly indicators purely on goodness-of-fit criteria, with an equilibrium-correction model that pins down the convergence of core inflation to its longer-run structural determinants. The result is a promising model for forecasting Thai core inflation over horizons up to 10, 24, and 55 months, based on a root mean-squared error criterion as well as a mean absolute error criterion.