No. 1102 - Monetary policy surprises over time

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by Marcello Pericoli and Giovanni Veronese February 2017

We document how the impact of monetary surprises in the euro area and the US on financial markets has changed since 1999.

We use a definition of monetary policy surprises that singles out movements in the long end of the yield curve, rather than those that change nearby futures on the central bank reference rates. By focusing only on this component of monetary policy our results are more comparable over time.

We find a hump-shaped response of the yield curve to monetary policy surprises, both in the pre-crisis period and since 2013. During the crisis years, Fed path-surprises, largely through their effect on term premia, account for the impact on interest rates, which is found to be increasing in tenor.

In the euro area, the path-surprises reflect shifts in sovereign spreads and have a large impact on the entire constellation of interest rates, exchange rates and equity markets.

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