Communicating Monetary Policy Rules

2021-12 | September 1, 2022

Despite the ubiquity of inflation targeting, central banks communicate their frameworks in a variety of ways. No central bank explicitly expresses their conduct via a policy rule, which contrasts with models of policy. Central banks often connect theory with practice by publishing inflation forecasts that can, in principle, implicitly convey their reaction function. We return to this central idea to show how a central bank can achieve the gains of a rule-based policy without publicly stating a specific rule. The approach requires central banks to specify an inflation target, inflation tolerance bands, and provide economic projections. When inflation moves outside the band, inflation forecasts provide a time frame over which inflation will return to within the band. We show how this communication replicates and provides the same information as a rule-based policy. The communication strategy produces a natural benchmark for assessing central bank performance. We illustrate these features in a counterfactual monetary policy history of the United States.

Article Citation

Foerster, Andrew, and Troy Davig. 2021. “Communicating Monetary Policy Rules,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2021-12. Available at

About the Author
Andrew Foerster
Andrew Foerster is a senior research advisor in the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Learn more about Andrew Foerster