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Underlying Inflation in Australia: Are the Existing Measures Satisfactory?

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  • ROBERT DIXON
  • G.C. LIM

Abstract

A number of measures of the underlying rate of inflation are reported for Australia. We formulate criteria that an acceptable underlying rate must satisfy and then test to see whether any of the current measures satisfy these criteria. We find that for the period since inflation targeting began, none of the underlying series satisfy all criteria. We then examine the results of an 'Unobserved Components' decomposition and show that it not only provides useful information on underlying inflation in Australia, but also provides support for the decision, in 1998, of the Reserve Bank of Australia to switch the target from an underlying series to the headline rate itself. Copyright © 2004 Economic Society of Australia..

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Dixon & G.C. Lim, 2004. "Underlying Inflation in Australia: Are the Existing Measures Satisfactory?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(251), pages 373-386, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:80:y:2004:i:251:p:373-386
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2000. "Why are Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Component Decompositions of GDP so Different?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0692, Econometric Society.
    2. James C. Morley & Charles R. Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2003. "Why Are the Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Components Decompositions of GDP So Different?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 235-243, May.
    3. Morley, James C., 2002. "A state-space approach to calculating the Beveridge-Nelson decomposition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 123-127, March.
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    5. Guy Debelle, 1998. "Inflation Targeting in Practice," Occasional Papers, South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre, number occ23, April.
    6. Marques, Carlos Robalo & Neves, Pedro Duarte & da Silva, Afonso Goncalves, 2002. "Why should Central Banks avoid the use of the underlying inflation indicator?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 17-23, March.
    7. Phillips, Peter C B & Ouliaris, S, 1990. "Asymptotic Properties of Residual Based Tests for Cointegration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 165-193, January.
    8. Robalo Marques, Carlos & Duarte Neves, Pedro & Morais Sarmento, Luis, 2003. "Evaluating core inflation indicators," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 765-775, July.
    9. Cogley, Timothy, 2002. "A Simple Adaptive Measure of Core Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 94-113, February.
    10. Hansen, Bruce E., 1992. "Efficient estimation and testing of cointegrating vectors in the presence of deterministic trends," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 87-121.
    11. Freeman, Donald G., 1998. "Do core inflation measures help forecast inflation?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 143-147, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jamie Armour, 2006. "An Evaluation of Core Inflation Measures," Staff Working Papers 06-10, Bank of Canada.
    2. Lei Lei Song, 2003. "The Role of the Unit of Analysis in Tax Policy Reform Evaluations," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n29, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. David Shepherd & Robert Dixon, 2008. "The Cyclical Dynamics and Volatility of Australian Output and Employment," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(264), pages 34-49, March.
    4. Ivan Roberts, 2005. "Underlying Inflation: Concepts, Measurement and Performance," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2005-05, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    5. Liam J. A. Lenten, 2010. "Bananas and petrol: further evidence on the forecasting accuracy of the ABS 'headline' and 'underlying' rates of inflation," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(6), pages 556-572.
    6. Lei Lei Song, 2005. "Do underlying measures of inflation outperform headline rates? Evidence from Australian data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 339-345.
    7. Rachel Holden, 2006. "Measuring core inflation," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 69, pages 1-7, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • C4 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics

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