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Lovisa Reiche

23 March 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 2, 2021
Details
Abstract
Consumers’ inflation expectations play a key role in the monetary transmission mechanism. As such, it is crucial for monetary policymakers to understand their nature and how they are formed. This article shows that inflation (un)certainty is a channel that can shed light on some of the more puzzling aspects of reported quantitative inflation perceptions and expectations. It helps explain why these may be higher than actual inflation. This is because, in a situation of uncertainty, many consumers report in rounded numbers, often leading them to quantitatively overestimate inflation. We also show that the uncertainty framework fits with some of the stylised facts of consumers’ inflation expectations, such as their correlation with sociodemographic characteristics and economic sentiment. Furthermore, the uncertainty channel may also explain the negative correlation observed between the economic outlook and inflation expectations.
JEL Code
D11 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Theory
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D84 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Expectations, Speculations
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