By Roger Clews, Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou and James Proudman of the Bank’s Monetary Instruments and Markets Division.
The Monetary Policy Committee is provided with information from options markets to quantify market uncertainty about the future course of financial asset prices. For short-term interest rates, this is shown in the Inflation Report’s blue fan chart. Similar information can be obtained from a wide range of other assets. This article compares the performance of alternative techniques for extracting information from options prices. Using a technique for estimating uncertainty about interest rates at a constant horizon a short way into the future, we consider how this uncertainty has evolved since the Bank was granted operational independence in May 1997.