The sensitivity of South African inflation expectations to surprises

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP16/2009
 
Publication date: 2009
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
 
Abstract:

Price stability is widely recognised as the primary goal of modern monetary policy, and the management of private sector inflation expectations has become an essential channel through which this goal is achieved. This evaluation aims to improve the understanding of how the sensitivity of private sector inflation expectations to macroeconomic surprises in South Africa compares internationally, as this provides an indication of the contribution of monetary policy in South Africa to anchoring inflation expectations. If a central bank is credible, the financial markets should react less sensitively to macroeconomics surprises, because they trust the central bank to manage these incidents and achieve the objectives they communicated over the medium to long term. In this paper, the methodology of Gurkaynack, Sack and Swanson (2005a) is adopted in order to measure the sensitivity of South African inflation expectations to surprises. A comparison of South Africa’s results with those of countries in the original studies supports the contention that the SARB (South African Reserve Bank) has encouraged inflation expectations to be relatively insensitive to macroeconomic surprises, and offers support for the inflation targeting framework as a means to help anchor inflation expectations.

 
JEL Classification:

E31, E52, E58

Keywords:

South Africa, Inflation targeting, Macroeconomic surprises, Sensitivity of inflation expectations

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BER Weekly

1 March 2021
Even with the release of data showing a record high unemployment rate in 2020Q4, it turned out to be a fairly good week for the SA economy. Daily new COVID-19 infections remained well contained, while the second batch of 80 000 J&J vaccines arrived (albeit controversially with the grounded SAA being the carrier). In addition, relative to the October...

Read the full issue