Forecast-based monetary policy

BIS Working Papers No 89
August 2000
This article analyses the welfare consequences of delegating to the central bank the task of minimising deviations of forecasts of goal variables from their target values. The delegated objectives considered in this article are motivated by the observation that central banks oftentimes operate under objectives which do not necessarily represent society's preferences. The analysis is performed using an estimated model of optimising households and firms that generates tradeoffs between stabilising wage and price inflation and the output gap. We find that when the central bank's objective is defined solely in terms of price inflation, it is welfare optimal to stabilise only those fluctuations in price inflation that are forecastable at least five quarters ahead. On the other hand, when the central bank's objective involves both wage and price inflation stabilisation, the central bank should stabilise all fluctuations in these variables, not just those forecastable at some horizon.