The Term Structure of Interest Rates and Inflation Forecast Targeting

S.C.W. Eijffinger, E. Schaling, W.H. Verhagen

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This paper examines the implications of the expectations theory of the term structure for the implementation of inflation targeting. We show that the term structure weakens the transmission of short term interest rates to ultimate policy objectives. Therefore, short term interest rates in the central bank's forward looking monetary policy rule need to respond more strongly to the output gap and deviations of inflation from its target. Thus, in general the term structure implies a higher degree of policy activism. Next, we show that both the sensitivity of the term spread to economic fundamentals, and the extent to which the spread predicts future output, are increasing in the duration of the long bond and the degree of structural output persistence. If the central bank becomes relatively less concerned about inflation stabilisation the term spread becomes less sensitive to fundamentals, and the spread will be less successful in predicting real economic activity.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • term structure of interest rates
  • inflation targets


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