Cleveland Fed research: Fed chair testimony can have significant impact on Treasury interest rates
When the chair of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors testifies before Congress, interest rates on U.S. Treasury Notes often move significantly, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
From July 1991 through June 2023, interest rates for both 2-year and 10-year Treasuries moved up or down by an average of 4.7 basis points shortly after the first day of the chair’s testimony related to the Federal Reserve’s biannual Monetary Policy Report. Rates moved by less than half that amount on the second day of testimony, which includes much of the same information.
The chair’s testimony also appears to have less influence on Treasury rates when the federal funds rate is near zero. Changes were larger when the federal funds rate was relatively high from 1991 through 2008 and from 2022 through June 2023, according to authors Matthew Gordon and Kurt Lunsford.
“Our findings of significant responses of interest rates around Fed Chair testimony suggest that financial markets, and perhaps the broader public, obtain relevant information on future policy and the economy through this communication vehicle,” Gordon and Lunsford write.
Read the Economic Commentary: The Effects of the Federal Reserve Chair’s Testimony on Treasury Interest Rates
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.
The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.
Chuck Soder, email@example.com, 216.672.2798