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Jana Jonckheere

21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 265
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Abstract
This paper – which takes into consideration overall experience with the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) as well as the improvements made to this measure of inflation since 2003 – finds that the HICP continues to fulfil the prerequisites for the index underlying the ECB’s definition of price stability. Nonetheless, there is scope for enhancing the HICP, especially by including owner-occupied housing (OOH) using the net acquisitions approach. Filling this long-standing gap is of utmost importance to increase the coverage and cross-country comparability of the HICP. In addition to integrating OOH into the HICP, further improvements would be welcome in harmonisation, especially regarding the treatment of product replacement and quality adjustment. Such measures may also help reduce the measurement bias that still exists in the HICP. Overall, a knowledge gap concerning the exact size of the measurement bias of the HICP remains, which calls for further research. More generally, the paper also finds that auxiliary inflation measures can play an important role in the ECB’s economic and monetary analyses. This applies not only to analytical series including OOH, but also to measures of underlying inflation or a cost of living index.
JEL Code
C43 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Index Numbers and Aggregation
C52 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
C82 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data, Data Access
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 264
Details
Abstract
This paper summarises the findings of the Eurosystem’s Expert Group on Inflation Expectations (EGIE), which was one of the 13 work streams conducting analysis that fed into the ECB’s monetary policy strategy review. The EGIE was tasked with (i) reviewing the nature and behaviour of inflation expectations, with a focus on the degree of anchoring, and (ii) exploring the role that measures of expectations can play in forecasting inflation. While it is households’ and firms’ inflation expectations that ultimately matter in the expectations channel, data limitations have meant that in practice the focus of analysis has been on surveys of professional forecasters and on market-based indicators. Regarding the anchoring of inflation expectations, this paper considers a number of metrics: the level of inflation expectations, the responsiveness of longer-term inflation expectations to shorter-term developments, and the degree of uncertainty. Different metrics can provide conflicting signals about the scale and timing of potential unanchoring, which underscores the importance of considering all of them. Overall, however, these metrics suggest that in the period since the global financial and European debt crises, longer-term inflation expectations in the euro area have become less well anchored. Regarding the role measures of inflation expectations can play in forecasting inflation, this paper finds that they are indicative for future inflationary developments. When it comes to their predictive power, both market-based and survey-based measures are found to be more accurate than statistical benchmarks, but do not systematically outperform each other. Beyond their role as standalone forecasts, inflation expectations bring forecast gains when included in forecasting models and can also inform scenario and risk analysis in projection exercises performed using structural models. ...
JEL Code
D84 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Expectations, Speculations
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy