Unspanned macroeconomic factors in the yield curve
In this paper, we extract common factors from a cross-section of U.S. macro-variables and Treasury zero-coupon yields. We find that two macroeconomic factors have an important predictive content for government bond yields and excess returns. These factors are not spanned by the cross-section of yields and are well proxied by economic growth and real interest rates.
Nowcasting GDP and inflation: the real-time informational content of macroeconomic data releases
This paper formalizes the process of updating the nowcast and forecast on output and inflation as new releases of data become available. The marginal contribution of a particular release for the value of the signal and its precision is evaluated by computing "news" on the basis of an evolving conditioning information set. The marginal contribution is then split into what is due to timeliness of information and what is due to economic content. We find that the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia surveys have a large marginal impact on the nowcast of both inflation variables and real ...
Low Frequency Effects of Macroeconomic News on Government Bond Yields
This study analyzes the reaction of the U.S. Treasury bond market to innovations in macroeconomic fundamentals. We identify these innovations with macroeconomic news, defined as differences between the actual releases and their market expectations. We show that macroeconomic news explain about one-third of the low frequency (quarterly) fluctuations of long-term bond yields. When focusing on the high frequency (daily) movements this share decreases to one-tenth. This result is due to the fact that macro news have a persistent effect on the yield curve. Non-fundamental factors, instead, ...
Nowcasting Business Cycles: a Bayesian Approach to Dynamic Heterogeneous Factor Models
We develop a framework for measuring and monitoring business cycles in real time. Following a long tradition in macroeconometrics, inference is based on a variety of indicators of economic activity, treated as imperfect measures of an underlying index of business cycle conditions. We extend existing approaches by permitting for heterogenous lead-lag patterns of the various indicators along the business cycles. The framework is well suited for high-frequency monitoring of current economic conditions in real time - nowcasting - since inference can be conducted in presence of mixed frequency ...
Safety, liquidity, and the natural rate of interest
Why are interest rates so low in the Unites States? We find that they are low primarily because the premium for safety and liquidity has increased since the late 1990s, and to a lesser extent because economic growth has slowed. We reach this conclusion using two complementary perspectives: a flexible time-series model of trends in Treasury and corporate yields, inflation, and long-term survey expectations, and a medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. We discuss the implications of this finding for the natural rate of interest.
We study the conditional distribution of GDP growth as a function of economic and financial conditions. Deteriorating financial conditions are associated with an increase in the conditional volatility and a decline in the conditional mean of GDP growth, leading the lower quantiles of GDP growth to vary with financial conditions and the upper quantiles to be stable over time: Upside risks to GDP growth are low in most periods while downside risks increase as financial conditions become tighter. We argue that amplification mechanisms in the financial sector generate the observed growth ...
The effectiveness of nonstandard monetary policy measures: evidence from survey data
We assess the perception of professional forecasters regarding the effectiveness of unconventional monetary policy measures announced by the U.S. Federal Reserve after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Using survey data collected at the individual level, we analyze the change in forecasts of Treasury and corporate bond yields around the announcement dates of nonstandard monetary policy measures. We find that professional forecasters expect bond yields to drop significantly for at least one year after the announcement of accommodative policies.
Exploiting the monthly data flow in structural forecasting
This paper develops a framework that allows us to combine the tools provided by structural models for economic interpretation and policy analysis with those of reduced-form models designed for nowcasting. We show how to map a quarterly dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model into a higher frequency (monthly) version that maintains the same economic restrictions. Moreover, we show how to augment the monthly DSGE with auxiliary data that can enhance the analysis and the predictive accuracy in now-casting and forecasting. Our empirical results show that both the monthly version of ...
We study how the risks to future liquidity flow across corporate bond, Treasury, and stock markets. We document distribution ?flight-to-safety? effects: a deterioration in the liquidity of high-yield corporate bonds forecasts an increase in the average liquidity of Treasury securities and a decrease in uncertainty about the liquidity of investment-grade corporate bonds. While the liquidity of Treasury securities both affects and is affected by the liquidity in the other two markets, corporate bond and equity market liquidity appear to be largely divorced from each other. Finally, we show that ...
Global trends in interest rates
The trend in the world real interest rate for safe and liquid assets fluctuated close to 2 percent for more than a century, but has dropped significantly over the past three decades. This decline has been common among advanced economies, as trends in real interest rates across countries have converged over this period. It was driven by an increase in the convenience yield for safety and liquidity and by lower global economic growth.