Bulletin – March Quarter 2012 Extracting Information from Financial Market Instruments Abstract

Financial market prices contain information about market expectations for economic variables, such as inflation or the cash rate, that are of interest to policymakers. This article describes four financial market instruments that are particularly useful for this, and documents how market expectations and other useful information can be derived from them. In particular, it describes how overnight indexed swap rates and government bond yields can be used to estimate a zero-coupon yield curve and infer market expectations for risk-free interest rates, and how inflation swap rates and inflation-indexed government bond yields can be used to infer market expectations for the inflation rate.

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