Central Bank Review (Dec 2021)

Can central bank speeches predict financial market turbulence? Evidence from an adaptive NLP sentiment index analysis using XGBoost machine learning technique

  • Anastasios Petropoulos,
  • Vasilis Siakoulis

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21, no. 4
pp. 141 – 153


Read online

Central Bank speeches usually function as aggregators of internal quantitative and qualitative analysis of the institutions regarding the macro economy, the monetary policy and the health of the financial systems. Speeches usually function as a summary of the current status of a countries economic health, the undergoing trends and some future perspectives of the global economy. In this study departing from classical econometrics we employ natural language processing technologies in combination with machine learning techniques in order to filter out the most important signals in the corpus of speeches and translate into a sentiment index for forecasting the future financial markets behaviour. In our analysis, it is evident that central banker's expectations on economy tend to exhibit a predictive ability for financial markets turmoil. Using a combination of dictionaries which are either predefined or build based on historical speeches of the corpus we train an Extreme Gradient Boosting model that generates a sentiment index which signals turmoil with acceptable accuracy when passing a specific threshold.