The Relative Size of New Zealand Exchange Rate and Interest Rate Responses to News

This paper examines the relative size of the effects of New Zealand monetary policy and macroeconomic data surprises on the spot exchange rate, 2 and 5 year swap rate differentials, and the synthetic forward exchange rate schedule.

We find that the spot exchange rate and five year swap rates respond by a similar magnitude to monetary surprises, implying there is little response of the forward exchange rate to this type of news. In contrast, the spot exchange rate responds by nearly three times as much as five year interest rates to CPI and GDP surprises, implying that forward rates appreciate to higher than expected CPI or GDP news. This is in contrast to standard theoretical models and US evidence.

Lastly, we show that exchange rates but not interest rates respond to current account news. The implications of these results for monetary policy are considered.