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Why Are TIIS Yields So High? The Case of the Missing Inflation-Risk Premium

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Treasury inflation-indexed securities are just like nominal Treasuries, except that their coupon and principal payments are indexed to inflation. The yield spread between the two types of securities should serve as a daily measurement of the market’s perception of expected inflation, modified to reflect the cost of inflationary risk. But TIIS yields are about 60 basis points higher than expected. This Commentary examines several factors other than inflation that might raise TIIS yields relative to nominal Treasuries.

Treasury inflation-indexed securities are just like nominal Treasuries, except that their coupon and principal payments are indexed to inflation. The yield spread between the two types of securities should serve as a daily measurement of the market’s perception of expected inflation, modified to reflect the cost of inflationary risk. But TIIS yields are about 60 basis points higher than expected. This Commentary examines several factors other than inflation that might raise TIIS yields relative to nominal Treasuries.


Suggested citation: Craig, Ben R., 2003. "Why Are TIIS Yields So High? The Case of the Missing Inflation-Risk Premium," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary, 03.15.2003.

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