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Guido Schultefrankenfeld

21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 274
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Abstract
This paper examines the importance of central bank communication in ensuring the effectiveness of monetary policy and in underpinning the credibility, accountability and legitimacy of independent central banks. It documents how communication has become a monetary policy tool in itself; one example of this being forward guidance, given its impact on inflation expectations, economic behaviour and inflation. The paper explains why and how consistent, clear and effective communication to expert and non-expert audiences is essential in an environment of an ever-increasing need by central banks to reach these audiences. Central banks must also meet the demand for more understandable information about policies and tools, while at the same time overcoming the challenge posed by the wider public’s rational inattention. Since the European Central Bank was established, the communications landscape has changed dramatically and continues to evolve. This paper outlines how better communication, including greater engagement with the wider public, could help boost people’s understanding of and trust in the Eurosystem.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 269
Details
Abstract
The ECB’s price stability mandate has been defined by the Treaty. But the Treaty has not spelled out what price stability precisely means. To make the mandate operational, the Governing Council has provided a quantitative definition in 1998 and a clarification in 2003. The landscape has changed notably compared to the time the strategy review was originally designed. At the time, the main concern of the Governing Council was to anchor inflation at low levels in face of the inflationary history of the previous decades. Over the last decade economic conditions have changed dramatically: the persistent low-inflation environment has created the concrete risk of de-anchoring of longer-term inflation expectations. Addressing low inflation is different from addressing high inflation. The ability of the ECB (and central banks globally) to provide the necessary accommodation to maintain price stability has been tested by the lower bound on nominal interest rates in the context of the secular decline in the equilibrium real interest rate. Against this backdrop, this report analyses: the ECB’s performance as measured against its formulation of price stability; whether it is possible to identify a preferred level of steady-state inflation on the basis of optimality considerations; advantages and disadvantages of formulating the objective in terms of a focal point or a range, or having both; whether the medium-term orientation of the ECB’s policy can serve as a mechanism to cater for other considerations; how to strengthen, in the presence of the lower bound, the ECB’s leverage on private-sector expectations for inflation and the ECB’s future policy actions so that expectations can act as ‘automatic stabilisers’ and work alongside the central bank.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
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