Central bank announcements: Big news for little people?

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Little is known on how and whether central bank announcements affect consumers’ beliefs about policy-relevant economic figures. This paper focuses on consumers’ perceptions and expectations of inflation and interest rates and confidence therein. Based on a sound identification (running surveys shortly before and after communication events), and relying on above 15,000 observations, spanning over 12 FOMC press conferences between December 2015 and June 2018, we document the impact of the central bank communication on the general public. While announcement events have no measurable direct effect on average beliefs, they make people more likely to receive news about the central bank's policy. In general, informed consumers tend to have lower perceptions and expectations, higher confidence and, at least for perceived inflation, smaller errors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Monetary Economics
Pages (from-to)21-38
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 12.2019
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Economics - Central bank communication, Consumers, Expectations, Perceptions