European Central Bank - eurosystem
Options de recherche
Page d’accueil Médias Notes explicatives Recherche et publications Statistiques Politique monétaire L’euro Paiements et marchés Carrières
Suggestions
Trier par
Pas disponible en français

Elisabeth Wieland

17 July 2023
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 324
Details
Abstract
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused a deep recession globally, as well as in the euro area, accompanied by a steep decline in inflation rates in 2020. This paper reviews some of the main challenges created by the pandemic for inflation measurement and provides micro price data analysis of how price setting has reacted to the strong COVID-19 shock. For this purpose, we use three different, but complementary, microdata sources for specific countries and sectors: micro price data underlying the official consumer price indices in Germany, Italy, Latvia and Slovakia; (scanner) data from German and Italian supermarkets; and online (web-scraped) prices for Poland. A common finding of the micro price studies in this paper is that state dependence significantly contributed to the price-setting response to the COVID-19 shock. Nevertheless, the extent and degree of responses varies widely by sector and even country, also depending on the severity of the pandemic situation.
JEL Code
D4 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
17 July 2023
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 323
Details
Abstract
This paper provides an extensive literature review and analyses some open issues in the measurement of inflation that can only be explored in depth using micro price data. It builds on the analysis done in the context of the ECB’s strategy review, which pointed at directions for improvement of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), including better quantification of potential biases. Two such biases are the substitution bias and the quality adjustment bias. Most analyses of substitution bias rest on the concept of the cost of living, positing that preferences are stable, homogeneous and homothetic. Consumer behaviour is characterised by preference shifts and heterogeneity, which influence the measurement of the cost of living and substitution bias. Climate change may make the impact of preference shifts particularly relevant as it causes the introduction of new varieties of “green” goods and services (zero-kilometre food, sustainable tourism) and a shift from “brown” to “green” products. Furthermore, PRISMA data show that consumption baskets and thus inflation vary across income classes (e.g. higher-income households tend to buy more expensive goods), pointing to non-homotheticity of preferences. When preferences are heterogeneous and/or non-homothetic, it is important to monitor different experiences of inflation across classes of consumers/citizens. This is particularly important when very large relative price changes affect items that enter the consumption baskets of the rich and the poor, the young and the old, in very different proportions. Another open area of analysis concerns the impact of quality adjustment on measured inflation. Evidence based on web-scraped prices shows that the various implicit quality adjustment methods can produce widely varying inflation trends when product churn is fast. In the euro area specifically, using different quality adjustment methods can be an overlooked source of divergent inflation trends in sub-categories, and, if pervasive, shows up in overall measured inflation divergence across countries.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
17 July 2023
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 320
Details
Abstract
E-commerce has become more prevalent throughout Europe in the last decade. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic accelerated this trend, particularly in the retail sector. This paper focuses on the implications of increasing business-to-consumer e-commerce for prices and inflation in the euro area. It highlights three key results. First, whether online prices and inflation are higher or lower than their offline counterparts depends on the distribution model, the sector and the country. Moreover, properly selected online prices track official inflation indices even in real time. Second, the effect of e-commerce on inflation appears to be transient and differs between countries. However, as the penetration of some markets is still low, these transitory effects will likely persist at the euro area level for several years. Third, online prices change more frequently than offline prices. This might lead to greater price flexibility overall as online trade gains market share in a growing number of sectors.
JEL Code
D4 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
L11 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Production, Pricing, and Market Structure, Size Distribution of Firms
17 July 2023
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 319
Details
Abstract
This paper documents five stylised facts relating to price adjustment in the euro area, using various micro price datasets collected in a period with relatively low and stable inflation. First, price changes are infrequent in the core sectors. On average, 12% of consumer prices change each month, falling to 8.5% when sales prices are excluded. The frequency of producer price adjustment is greater (25%), reflecting that the prices of intermediate goods and energy are more flexible. For both consumer and producer prices, cross-sectoral heterogeneity is more pronounced than cross-country heterogeneity. Second, price changes tend to be large and heterogeneous. For consumer prices, the typical absolute price change is about 10%, and the distribution of price changes shows a broad dispersion. For producer prices, the typical absolute price change is smaller, but nevertheless larger than inflation. Third, price setting is mildly state-dependent: the probability of price adjustment rises with the size of price misalignment, mainly reflecting idiosyncratic shocks, but it does not increase very sharply. Fourth, for both consumer and producer prices, the repricing rate showed no trend in the period 2005-19 but was more volatile in the short run. Fifth, small cyclical variations in frequency did not contribute much to fluctuations in aggregate inflation, which instead mainly reflected shifts in the average size of price changes. Consistent with idiosyncratic shocks as the main driver of price changes, aggregate disturbances affected inflation by shifting the relative number of firms increasing or decreasing their prices, rather than the size of price increases and decreases.
JEL Code
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
6 February 2023
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2773
Details
Abstract
How much does quality adjustment matter in measuring consumer price inflation? To address this question, we use different sources of micro and macro price data for Germany and the euro area. For Germany, we find that quality adjustment applies to a large range of goods and services but, on average, price adjustments due to quality changes reduce headline inflation only by 0.06 percentage points, which is balanced out by an increase due to quantity adjustment (e.g. a smaller package size) of the same amount. For the euro area, we assess the impact of heterogeneous quality adjustment methods by deriving the distribution of member states’ cumulative inflation rates for typical quality-adjusted products. Our macro-based estimate makes up to ± 0.2 percentage points for headline HICP inflation and ranges between± 0.1 and 0.3 percentage points for core inflation, when controlling for income differentials between member states. [...]
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
C43 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Index Numbers and Aggregation
Network
Price-setting Microdata Analysis Network (PRISMA)
17 June 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2669
Details
Abstract
Using CPI micro data for 11 euro area countries covering about 60% of the euro area consumption basket over the period 2010-2019, we document new findings on consumer price rigidity in the euro area: (i) each month on average 12.3% of prices change, which compares with 19.3% in the United States; when we exclude price changes due to sales, however, the proportion of prices adjusted each month is 8.5% in the euro area versus 10% in the United States; (ii) differences in price rigidity are rather limited across euro area countries but much larger across sectors; (iii) the median price increase (resp. decrease) is 9.6% (13%) when including sales and 6.7% (8.7%) when excluding sales; cross-country heterogeneity is more pronounced for the size than for the frequency of price changes; (iv) the distribution of price changes is highly dispersed: 14% of price changes in absolute values are lower than 2% whereas 10% are above 20%; (v) the overall frequency of price changes does not change much with inflation and does not react much to aggregate shocks; (vi) changes in inflation are mostly driven by movements in the overall size; when decomposing the overall size, changes in the share of price increases among all changes matter more than movements in the size of price increases or the size of price decreases. These findings are consistent with the predictions of a menu cost model in a low inflation environment where idiosyncratic shocks are a more relevant driver of price adjustment than aggregate shocks.
JEL Code
D40 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→General
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
Network
Price-setting Microdata Analysis Network (PRISMA)
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 266
Details
Abstract
The digitalisation workstream report analyses the degree of digital adoption across the euro area and EU countries and the implications of digitalisation for measurement, productivity, labour markets and inflation, as well as more recent developments during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and their implications. Analysis of these key issues and variables is aimed at improving our understanding of the implications of digitalisation for monetary policy and its transmission. The degree of digital adoption differs across the euro area/EU, implying heterogeneous impacts, with most EU economies currently lagging behind the United States and Japan. Rising digitalisation has rendered price measurement more challenging, owing to, among other things, faster changes in products and product quality, but also new ways of price setting, e.g. dynamic or customised pricing, and services that were previously payable but are now “free”. Despite the spread of digital technologies, aggregate productivity growth has decreased in most advanced economies since the 1970s. However, it is likely that without the spread of digital technologies the productivity slowdown would have been even more pronounced, and the recent acceleration in digitalisation is likely to boost future productivity gains from digitalisation. Digitalisation has spurred greater automation, with temporary labour market disruptions, albeit unevenly across sectors. The long-run employment effects of digitalisation can be benign, but its effects on wages and labour share depend on the structure of the economy and its labour market institutions. The pandemic has accelerated the use of teleworking: roughly every third job in the euro area/EU is teleworkable, although there are differences across countries. ...
JEL Code
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
O33 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes
O57 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Comparative Studies of Countries
3 February 2021
STATISTICS PAPER SERIES - No. 40
Details
Abstract
Consumer price inflation, as measured by the year-on-year increase in the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), is used by the European Central Bank (ECB) for assessing its monetary policy. The European Statistical System regularly introduces methodological improvements into this chain-linked price index in the linking month (December). If the outcome of such changes is a new series with a very different profile in December – either due to changed seasonality or one-off (sampling) effects – significant statistical distortions may arise when the new index series is chain-linked to the existing series. This paper explains the mechanism behind statistical distortions due to chain linking and provides some recent examples from European price statistics. Several alternative chain-linking practices, as well as recommendations for data users on how to deal with such statistical breaks in the HICP, are presented.
JEL Code
C43 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Index Numbers and Aggregation
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
11 July 2016
STATISTICS PAPER SERIES - No. 14
Details
Abstract
Integrated quarterly sector accounts (QSA) provide an analytical tool to understand the generation, allocation and use of income for all institutional sectors in the economy. They also provide a tool to analyse production from a sectoral point of view instead of an industry point of view. However, since QSA are published in current prices only, sectoral volume and price measures are lacking as an important toolkit for economic analysis and forecasting, notably in the case of gross value added. This paper introduces a methodology to estimate sectoral price and volume measures for euro area value added at a quarterly frequency and provides a comparison of alternative estimation methods. It presents a benchmark method which yields robust estimates of sectoral volumes and prices in the euro area.
JEL Code
C33 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
C82 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data, Data Access
E01 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General→Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth, Environmental Accounts
E30 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→General