November 2021

Words Speak as Loudly as Actions: Central Bank Communication and the Response of Equity Prices to Macroeconomic Announcements

Ben Gardner, Chiara Scotti, and Clara Vega

Abstract:

While the literature has already widely documented the effects of macroeconomic news announcements on asset prices, as well as their asymmetric impact during good and bad times, we focus on the reaction to news based on the description of the state of the economy as painted by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statements. We develop a novel FOMC sentiment index using textual analysis techniques, and find that news has a bigger (smaller) effect on equity prices during bad (good) times as described by the FOMC sentiment index. Our analysis suggests that the FOMC sentiment index offers a reading on current and future macroeconomic conditions that will affect the probability of a change in interest rates, and the reaction of equity prices to news depends on the FOMC sentiment index which is one of the best predictors of this probability.

Keywords: Monetary policy, public information, probability of a recession, price discovery.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2021.074

PDF: Full Paper

Disclaimer: The economic research that is linked from this page represents the views of the authors and does not indicate concurrence either by other members of the Board's staff or by the Board of Governors. The economic research and their conclusions are often preliminary and are circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment.

The Board values having a staff that conducts research on a wide range of economic topics and that explores a diverse array of perspectives on those topics. The resulting conversations in academia, the economic policy community, and the broader public are important to sharpening our collective thinking.

Back to Top
Last Update: November 18, 2021