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Mr. Ken Miyajima and James Yetman
Inflation forecasts are modelled as monotonically diverging from an estimated long-run anchor point, or “implicit anchor”, towards actual inflation as the forecast horizon shortens. Fitting the model with forecasts by analysts, businesses and trade unions for South Africa, we find that inflation expectations have become increasingly strongly anchored. That is, the degree to which the estimated implicit anchor pins down inflation expectations at longer horizons has generally increased. Estimated inflation anchors of analysts lie within the 3–6 percent inflation target range of the central bank. However, the implicit anchors of businesses and trade unions, who are directly involved in the setting of wages and prices that drive the inflation process, have remained above the top end of the official target range. Possible explanations for these phenomena are discussed.
Chandranath Amarasekara, Rahul Anand, Kithsiri Ehelepola, Hemantha Ekanayake, Vishuddhi Jayawickrema, Sujeetha Jegajeevan, Csaba Kober, Tharindi Nugawela, Sergey Plotnikov, Adam Remo, Poongothai Venuganan, and Rasika Yatigammana
This study documents a semi-structural model developed for Sri Lanka. This model, extended with a fiscal sector block, is expected to serve as a core forecasting model in the process of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s move towards flexible inflation targeting. The model includes a forward-looking endogenous interest rate and foreign exchange rate policy rules allowing for flexible change in policy behavior. It is a gap model that allows for simultaneous identification of business cycle position and long-term equilibrium. The model was first calibrated and then its data-fit was improved using Bayesian estimation technique with relatively tight priors.
Ms. Piyabha Kongsamut, Mr. Christian Mumssen, Anne-Charlotte Paret, and Mr. Thierry Tressel
How can information on financial conditions be used to better understand macroeconomic developments and improve macroeconomic projections? We investigate this question for France by constructing country-specific financial conditions indices (FCIs) that are tailored to movements in GDP, investment, private consumption and exports respectively. We rely on a VAR approach to estimate the weights of the financial components of each FCI, including equity market returns (which turn out having a relatively strong weight across all FCIs), private sector risk premiums, long-term interest rates, and banks’ credit standards. We find that the tailored FCIs are useful as leading indicators of GDP, investment, and exports, and as a contemporaneous indicator of private consumption. Credit volumes turn out to be lagging indicators of growth. The indices inform us on macro-financial linkages in France and are used to improve the accuracy of quarterly forecasting models and high-frequency “nowcast” models. We show that FCI-augmented models could have significantly improved forecasts during and after the global financial crisis.
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.
Svetlana Vtyurina and Fahad Alturki
This paper attempts to explain short- and long-term dynamics of-and forecast-inflation in Tajikistan using the Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) and Autoregressive Moving Average Model (ARMA). By analyzing different transmission channels through the VECM, we were able to evaluate their relative dominance, magnitude, and speed of transition to the equilibrium price level, with the view of identifying those policy tools that will enhance the effectiveness of monetary policy. We found that excess supply of broad money is inflationary in both the short and long term. The dynamic analysis also demonstrates that the exchange rate and international inflation have a strong impact on local prices. Available monetary instruments, such as the refinancing rate, have proven to be ineffective. Therefore, the Tajik monetary authority could greatly benefit from enhancing its monetary instruments toolkit, including by developing the interest rate channel, to improve its monetary policy execution and to achieve stable inflationary conditions.
Mr. Kenji Moriyama and Abdul Naseer
This paper forecasts inflation in Sudan following two methodologies: the Autoregressive Moving Average (ARMA) model and by looking at the leading indicators of inflation. The estimated ARMA model remarkably tracks the actual inflation during the sample period. The Granger causality test suggests that private sector credit and world wheat prices are the leading indicators explaining inflation in Sudan. Inflation forecasts based on both approaches suggest that inflationary pressures for 2009 and 2010 will be modest and that inflation will remain in single-digits, assuming that prudent macroeconomic policies are maintained.
Ms. Katerina Smídková, Viktor Kotlán, David Navrátil, and Mr. Ales Bulir
Inflation-targeting central banks have a respectable track record at explaining their policy actions and corresponding inflation outturns. Using a simple forward-looking policy rule and an assessment of inflation reports, we provide a new methodology for the empirical evaluation of consistency in central bank communication. We find that the three communication tools-inflation targets, inflation forecasts, and verbal assessments of inflation factors contained in quarterly inflation reports-provided a consistent message in five out of six observations in our 2000-05 sample of Chile, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Thailand, and Sweden.
Mr. Martin Cihak, Ms. Katerina Smídková, and Mr. Ales Bulir
The paper presents a methodology for measuring the clarity of central bank communication, illustrating it with the case of the European Central Bank (ECB) in 1999-2007. The analysis identifies the ECB's written communication as clear about 95 percent of instances, which is comparable to, or even better than, other central banks for which a similar analysis is available. We also find that the additional information contained in the ECB's Monthly Bulletins helps to improve communication clarity compared to ECB's press releases. In particular, the Bulletins contain useful clarifying information on individual inflation factors and the overall forecast risk; in contrast, the bulletin's communication on monetary shocks has a negative, albeit small, impact on clarity.
Mr. Emil Stavrev and Mr. Helge Berger
This paper contributes to the debate on the role of money in monetary policy by analyzing the information content of money in forecasting euro-area inflation. We compare the predictive performance within and among various classes of structural and empirical models in a consistent framework using Bayesian and other estimation techniques. We find that money contains relevant information for inflation in some model classes. Money-based New Keynesian DSGE models and VARs incorporating money perform better than their cashless counterparts. But there are also indications that the contribution of money has its limits. The marginal contribution of money to forecasting accuracy is often small, money adds little to dynamic factor models, and it worsens forecasting accuracy of partial equilibrium models. Finally, non-monetary models dominate monetary models in an all-out horserace.
Mr. Ales Bulir and Ms. Katerina Smídková
The Czech National Bank has a respectable track record in terms of its policy actions and the corresponding inflation outturns. Using a simple forward-looking policy rule, we find that its main communication tools-inflation targets, inflation forecasts, verbal assessments of the inflation risks contained in quarterly inflation reports, and the voting within the CNB Board-provided a clear message in about three out of every four observations in our 2001- 2005 sample.