Monetary Policy Transparency and Pass-Through of retail interest rates
This paper examines the degree of pass-through and adjustment speed of retail interest rates in response to changes in benchmark wholesale rates in New Zealand during the period 1994 to 2004. We consider the effect of policy transparency and financial structure in the transmission mechanism. New Zealand is the first OECD country to adopt a formal inflation targeting regime with specific accountability and transparency provisions. Policy transparency was further enhanced by a shift from quantity (settlement cash) to price (interest rate) operating targets in 1999. We find complete long-term pass-through for some but not all retail rates. Our results also show that the introduction of the Official Cash Rate (OCR) increased the pass-through of floating and deposit rates but not fixed mortgage rates. Overall, our results confirm that monetary policy rate has more influence on short-term interest rates and that increased transparency has lowered instrument volatility and enhanced the efficacy of policy.