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Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?

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  • JAMES H. STOCK
  • MARK W. WATSON

Abstract

We examine whether the U.S. rate of price inflation has become harder to forecast and, to the extent that it has, what changes in the inflation process have made it so. The main finding is that the univariate inflation process is well described by an unobserved component trend-cycle model with stochastic volatility or, equivalently, an integrated moving average process with time-varying parameters. This model explains a variety of recent univariate inflation forecasting puzzles and begins to explain some multivariate inflation forecasting puzzles as well. Copyright 2007 The Ohio State University.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 39 (2007)
Issue (Month): s1 (02)
Pages: 3-33

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:39:y:2007:i:s1:p:3-33

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2001. "Forecasting Output and Inflation: The Role of Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 8180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert & Wei, Min, 2007. "Do macro variables, asset markets, or surveys forecast inflation better?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1163-1212, May.
  3. Harvey, Andrew C. & Trimbur, Thomas M. & Van Dijk, Herman K., 2007. "Trends and cycles in economic time series: A Bayesian approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 618-649, October.
  4. Barsky, Robert B., 1987. "The Fisher hypothesis and the forecastability and persistence of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, January.
  5. Harvey, A C, 1985. "Trends and Cycles in Macroeconomic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 216-27, June.
  6. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Forecasting inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 293-335, October.
  8. Maarten Dossche & Gerdie Everaert, 2005. "Measuring Inflation Persistence: A Structural Time Series Approach," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 459, Society for Computational Economics.
  9. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian., 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  10. Arturo Estrella, 2005. "Why Does the Yield Curve Predict Output and Inflation?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 722-744, 07.
  11. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2003. "The Reliability of Inflation Forecasts Based on Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-01, CIRANO.
  12. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-56, July.
  13. Michael W. McCracken & Todd E. Clark, 2003. "The Predictive Content of the Output Gap for Inflation: Resolving In-Sample and Out-of-Sample Evidence," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 183, Society for Computational Economics.
  14. Flint Brayton & John M. Roberts & John C. Williams, 1999. "What's happened to the Phillips curve?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Mavroeidis, Sophocles, 2005. "Identification Issues in Forward-Looking Models Estimated by GMM, with an Application to the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 421-48, June.
  16. Pivetta, Frederic & Reis, Ricardo, 2007. "The persistence of inflation in the United States," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1326-1358, April.
  17. Nelson, Charles R & Schwert, G William, 1977. "Short-Term Interest Rates as Predictors of Inflation: On Testing the Hypothesis That the Real Rate of Interest is Constant," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 478-86, June.
  18. Jonas D. M. Fisher & Chin Te Liu & Ruilin Zhou, 2002. "When can we forecast inflation?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 32-44.
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  1. Bernanke: Inflation Expectations and Inflation Forecasting
    by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2007-07-10 20:08:00
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