Results of the Q1 2015 ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters
- Oil prices behind downward revisions to inflation expectations for 2015-2016.
- Longer-term inflation expectations (for 2019) broadly unchanged at 1.8%.
- Real GDP growth expectations stable, indicating a gradual recovery.
- Unemployment expectations broadly unchanged on slowly declining path.
The results of the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) for the first quarter of 2015 imply average inflation expectations of 0.3%, 1.1% and 1.5% for 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively. Respondents report that the downward revisions – 0.7 percentage point for 2015 and 0.3 percentage points for 2016 – mainly reflect lower oil prices. Average longer-term inflation expectations (for 2019) are broadly unchanged at 1.8%. Real GDP growth expectations were revised down slightly for 2015, standing at 1.1%, before rising to 1.5% for 2016 and 1.7% for 2017 and 2019. Unemployment expectations indicate a fall to 10.3% in 2017 and 9.4% in 2019; they remained stable for the short term, but were revised marginally downwards for longer-term horizons.
- The ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) collects the views of professional forecasters outside the Eurosystem. The quarterly survey gathers expectations for the rates of inflation, real GDP growth and unemployment in the euro area for several horizons, together with a quantitative assessment of the uncertainty surrounding them. The participants in the ECB SPF are experts affiliated with financial or non-financial institutions based within the European Union. The survey results do not represent the views of the ECB’s decision-making bodies or of the ECB staff. The next macroeconomic projections of the ECB staff will be published on 5 March 2015.
- Owing to the revised schedule of ECB Governing Council monetary policy meetings as of 2015, the results of the ECB SPF will henceforth be released directly on the ECB’s website. In 2015 the provisional release dates are: Q1 - 23 January, Q2 - 16 April, Q3 - 17 July and Q4 - 23 October. For the reporting of the results prior to the 2015 Q1 SPF please check the ECB’s Monthly Bulletin (2002-2014: Q1 - Feb, Q2 - May, Q3 - Aug, Q4 Nov).
- The ECB SPF survey round from the first quarter (Q1) of 2015 was conducted between 8 and 13 January 2015. The total number of responses was 59, which is broadly in line with the historical average of 58. The survey requested information on expectations for the euro area HICP inflation rate, the real GDP growth rate and the unemployment rate for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019, as well as forecasts for each of these variables one and two years ahead – note expectations for 2017 were not surveyed in the previous (Q4 2014) SPF round. Participants were provided with a common set of the latest available data for HICP inflation (December 2014, -0.2% year-on-year), GDP growth (2014 Q3, 0.8% year-on-year) and unemployment (November 2014, 11.5%).
- The ECB SPF report and data are available via the ECB SPF webpage and via the ECB’s Statistical Data Warehouse.
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