DP3365 | The Inflation Forecast and the Loss Function

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20/05/2002

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Abstract

This Paper argues that inflation-targeting central banks should announce explicit loss function with numerical relative weights on output-gap stabilization and use and announce optimal time-varying instrument-rate paths and corresponding inflation and output-gap forecasts. Simple voting procedures for forming the Monetary Policy Committee?s aggregate loss function and time-varying instrument-rate paths are suggested. Announcing an explicit loss function improves the transparency of inflation targeting and eliminates some misunderstandings of the meaning of ?flexible? inflation targeting. Using time-varying instrument-rate paths avoids a number of inconsistencies and other problems inherently associated with constant-interest-rate forecasts.