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Results of the Q1 2020 ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters

24 January 2020

  • Expectations for euro area inflation, growth and unemployment broadly unchanged

Respondents to the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) for the first quarter of 2020 reported point forecasts for annual HICP inflation averaging 1.2%, 1.4% and 1.5% for 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively. For 2020 and 2021, which were also surveyed in the previous (Q4 2019) survey round, these results represent no change. Average longer-term inflation expectations (which, like all other longer-term expectations in this round of the SPF, refer to 2024) remained at 1.7%.

SPF respondents’ expectations for growth in euro area real GDP averaged 1.1%, 1.2% and 1.4% for 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively. This represents small revisions from the previous round of 0.1 percentage point each for 2020 (upward) and 2021 (downward). At 1.4%, average longer-term expectations for real GDP growth were unchanged.

Average unemployment rate expectations stand at 7.5%, 7.4% and 7.3% for 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively, and were unchanged for 2020 and 2021. Expectations for the unemployment rate in the longer term were revised down to 7.3%. The latest expectations continue to point to further falls in the unemployment rate.

While respondents reported perceptions of a decline in overall uncertainty, they consider that the balance of risks for inflation and GDP growth remains to the downside.

Table 1
Results of the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters for Q1 2020

(annual percentage changes, unless otherwise indicated)

1) Longer-term expectations refer to 2024.
2) As a percentage of the labour force.

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  • The SPF is conducted on a quarterly basis and 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 survey 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 its staff. The next Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections will be published on 12 March 2020.
  • Since 2015 the results of the SPF have been published on the ECB’s website. For surveys prior to the first quarter of 2015, see the ECB’s Monthly Bulletin (2002-2014: Q1 – February, Q2 – May, Q3 – August, Q4 – November).
  • This survey was conducted between 7 and 13 January 2020. The number of responses was 72.
  • The SPF report and data are available via the SPF webpage and via the ECB’s Statistical Data Warehouse.

European Central Bank

Directorate General Communications

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