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Deciphering Federal Reserve Communication via Text Analysis of Alternative FOMC Statements
We apply a natural language processing algorithm to FOMC statements to construct a new measure of monetary policy stance, including the tone and novelty of a policy statement. We exploit cross-sectional variations across alternative FOMC statements to identify the tone (for example, dovish or hawkish), and contrast the current and previous FOMC statements released after Committee meetings to identify the novelty of the announcement. We then use high-frequency bond prices to compute the surprise component of the monetary policy stance. Our text-based estimates of monetary policy surprises are ...
Sentiment in Central Banks' Financial Stability Reports
Using the text of financial stability reports (FSRs) published by central banks, we analyze the relation between the financial cycle and the sentiment conveyed in these official communications. To do so, we construct a dictionary tailored specifically to a financial stability context, which assigns positive and negative connotations based on the sentiment conveyed by words in FSRs. With this dictionary, we construct a financial stability sentiment (FSS) index. Using a panel of 35 countries for the sample period between 2005 and 2015, we find that central banks' FSS indexes are mostly driven ...
The Power of Narratives in Economic Forecasts
We apply textual analysis tools to the narratives that accompany Federal Reserve Board economic forecasts to measure the degree of optimism versus pessimism expressed in those narratives. Text sentiment is strongly correlated with the accompanying economic point forecasts, positively for GDP forecasts and negatively for unemployment and inflation forecasts. Moreover, our sentiment measure predicts errors in FRB and private forecasts for GDP growth and unemployment up to four quarters out. Furthermore, stronger sentiment predicts tighter than expected monetary policy and higher future stock ...