DP11195 | The speed of the exchange rate pass-through

Publication Date

03/28/2016

JEL Code(s)

Keyword(s)

Programme Area(s)

Network(s)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the speed of the exchange rate pass-through into importer and exporter unit values for a large, unanticipated, and unusually `clean' exchange rate shock. Our shock originates from the Swiss National Bank's decision to lift the minimum exchange rate policy of one euro against 1.2 Swiss francs on January 15, 2015. This policy action resulted in a permanent appreciation of the Swiss franc by more than 11% against the euro. We analyze the response of unit values to this exchange rate shock at the daily frequency for different invoicing currencies using the universe of Switzerland's transactions-level trade data. The main finding is that the speed of the exchange rate pass-through is fast: it starts on the second working day after the exchange rate shock and reaches the medium-run pass-through after eight working days on average. Moreover, we decompose the pass-through by invoicing currencies and find strong evidence that underlying price adjustments occurred within a similar time frame. Our observations suggest that nominal rigidities play only a minor role in the face of large exchange rate shocks.