Monetary Policy, Twitter and Financial Markets: Evidence from Social Media Traffic
38 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 7, 2021
How does central bank communication affect financial markets? This paper shows that the monetary policy announcements of three major central banks, i.e. the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, trigger significant discussions on monetary policy on Twitter. Using machine learning techniques we identify Twitter messages related to monetary policy around the release of monetary policy decisions and we build a metric of the similarity between the policy announcement and Twitter traffic before and after the announcement. We interpret large changes in the similarity of tweets and announcements as a proxy for monetary policy surprise and show that market volatility spikes after the announcement whenever changes in similarity are high. These findings suggest that social media discussions on central bank communication are aligned with bond and stock market reactions.
Keywords: monetary policy, central bank communication, financial markets, social media, Twitter, Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of England
JEL Classification: E44, E52, E58, G14, G15, G41
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