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Ioana Duca

19 April 2017
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 186
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Abstract
This report updates and extends earlier assessments of quantitative inflation perceptions and expectations of consumers in the euro area and the EU using an anonymised micro data set collected by the European Commission in the context of the Harmonised EU Programme of Business and Consumer Surveys. Confirming earlier findings, consumers' quantitative estimates of inflation are found to be higher than actual HICP (Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices) inflation over the entire sample period (2004-2015). The analysis shows that European consumers hold different opinions of inflation depending on their income, age, education and gender. Although many of the features highlighted for the EU and the euro area aggregates are valid across individual Member States, differences exist also at the country level. Despite the higher inflation estimates, there is a high level of co-movement between measured and estimated (perceived/expected) inflation. Even respondents providing estimates largely above actual HICP inflation, demonstrate understanding of the relative level of inflation during both high and low inflation periods. Based on these economically plausible results, the report concludes that further work should be devoted to defining concrete aggregate indicators of consumers' quantitative inflation perceptions and expectations on the basis of the dataset used in this study. Moreover, it outlines a number of future research topics that can be addressed by exploiting the enormous potential of the data set.
JEL Code
D8 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
12 January 2021
RESEARCH BULLETIN - No. 79
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Abstract
Economists have argued that when interest rates set by policymakers cannot go any lower, the economy can be stabilised if consumers expect the rate of inflation to increase. Yet, the evidence for this stabilising effect has been very mixed. In this article we review new evidence from a monthly survey of over 25,000 individual consumers across the euro area showing that consumers are indeed more ready to spend if they expect inflation to be higher in the future. While generalised in the population, the stabilising effect is stronger when nominal interest rates are constrained at the lower bound.
JEL Code
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D84 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Expectations, Speculations
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
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