Center for Pacific Basin Studies

The Center for Pacific Basin Studies promotes cooperation among central banks in the Pacific Basin and provide insight into and analysis of economic policy issues affecting the region.

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Pacific Basin Notes

Occasional series of the FRBSF Economic Letter

Inflationary Effects of Trade Disputes with China

2019-07

Galina Hale, Bart Hobijn, Fernanda Nechio, and Doris Wilson | February 25, 2019

Imports from China are an important part of overall U.S. imports of consumer and investment goods. Thus, tariffs on these imports are likely to have sizable effects on consumer, producer, and investment prices in this country. Tariffs implemented thus far may have contributed an estimated 0.1 percentage point to consumer price inflation and 0.4 percentage point to price inflation for business investment goods. If implemented, an across-the-board 25% tariff on all Chinese imports would raise consumer prices an additional 0.3 percentage point and investment prices an additional 1.0 percentage point.

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Working Papers

Assessing Abenomics: Evidence from Inflation-Indexed Japanese Government Bonds

Working Paper 2019-15

Christensen • Spiegel | May 2019

We assess the impact of news concerning the reforms associated with “Abenomics” using an arbitrage-free term structure model of nominal and real yields. Our model explicitly accounts for the deflation protection enhancement embedded in Japanese inflation-indexed bonds issued since 2013, which pay their original nominal principal when deflation has occurred from issue to maturity. The value of this enhancement is sizable and time-varying, with substantive impacts on estimates of expected inflation compensation. After properly accounting for deflation protection, our results suggest that Japanese inflation risk premia were mostly negative during this period. Moreover, long-term inflation expectations remained positive throughout, despite extensive spells of realized deflation. Finally, initial market responses to policy changes associated with Abenomics and afterwards were not as inflationary as they appear under standard modeling procedures, implying that the program was less “disappointing” than many perceive.

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