Exchange rate pass-through into UK import prices

Staff working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 22 November 2006

Working Paper No. 312
By Haroon Mumtaz, Özlem Oomen and Jian Wang

In this paper we estimate the rate of exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) into UK import prices using disaggregate data at the SITC-2 and SITC-3 digit level. Consistent with earlier studies, we find evidence for significant heterogeneity among the estimated industry-specific pass-through rates. In an environment where cross-sectional heterogeneity is significant the use of aggregate data can be misleading since aggregation may lead to heavily biased ERPT estimates at the economy-wide level. We demonstrate that the aggregation bias caused by this heterogeneity is not negligible for the UK data. Further, we investigate the source of the cross-sectional variation in the estimated industry-specific pass-through rates. For our sample, we find the industry-specific average inflation rates to be significant in explaining this variation. Furthermore, we find evidence for short-run and long-run partial pass-through into food and manufacturing sectors. As for the economy-wide ERPT the conclusion stands, possibly reflecting the relatively large weight of manufacturing goods in UK imports. Finally, we find a significant reduction in estimated ERPT rates since 1995 caused by increased stability of the UK economy over the past decade.

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