Swedish Breakeven Inflation (BEI) - a market based measure of inflation expectations?
The Fisher Equation suggests that the spread between nominal and real interest rates is equal to the inflation expectations. In Sweden, where both nominal and inflation linked bonds exist the fisher equation implies that the yield spread could provide investors and policymakers with important information about markets inflation expectations. The aim of this thesis is therefore to estimate whether the yield spread between Swedish nominal and real interest rates - widely referred to as the Breakeven Inflation (BEI) - is a market based measure of inflation expectations. A sample based on historical bond prices between year 2000 and 2007 is used and adjusted for 3 distortions: i) The mismatch in cash flow structure arising from different bond characteristics. ii) The inflation indexation and bond finance implications (carry). iii) The seasonality in Consumer Price Index (CPI). In the absence of “true” inflation expectations, the benchmark used for the evaluation and comparison of the unadjusted and adjusted BEI series is the survey based, Prospera Money Market Players inflationary expectations, i.e. professional forecasters. The evaluation uses two statistical measures to estimate the errors, the Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) to estimate the size of the forecast error and the Mean Error (ME) to measure the bias or the tendency for the forecast error to point in a particular direction. The general conclusion of the study is that both the unadjusted and the adjusted BEI series have improved significantly throughout the sample period as predictors of inflation expectations.Further, in the first half of the sample, the MEs show that the BEI tends to underestimate inflation expectations, while in the second part of the sample the direction of the errors are less univocal. However, the carry adjusted and in some extent the carry and seasonality adjusted BEI seem to improve the BEI somewhat, although the conclusions are not very convincing. When using BEI to measure inflation expectations the conclusions should also be balanced against the possible bias associated with survey based expectations.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:inflation linked bonds index swedish carry cpi seasonality sveriges riksbank sndo prospera expectations
Date of Publication:03/03/2008