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Indirect Consumer Inflation Expectations


  • Ina Hajdini
  • Edward S. Knotek
  • John Leer
  • Mathieu Pedemonte
  • Robert W. Rich
  • Raphael Schoenle


Surveys often measure consumers’ inflation expectations by asking directly about prices in general or overall inflation, concepts that may not be well-defined for some individuals. In this Commentary, we propose a new, indirect way of measuring consumer inflation expectations: Given consumers’ expectations about developments in prices of goods and services during the next 12 months, we ask them how their incomes would have to change to make them equally well-off relative to their current situation such that they could buy the same amount of goods and services as they can today. Using a massive number of survey responses at a high frequency, we show that this measure of indirect consumer inflation expectations has risen sharply since early 2021. Higher inflation experiences correlate with higher indirect consumer inflation expectations across US cities and around the world.

Suggested Citation

  • Ina Hajdini & Edward S. Knotek & John Leer & Mathieu Pedemonte & Robert W. Rich & Raphael Schoenle, 2022. "Indirect Consumer Inflation Expectations," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, vol. 2022(03), pages 1-9, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcec:93780
    DOI: 10.26509/frbc-ec-202203

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Falck, E. & Hoffmann, M. & Hürtgen, P., 2021. "Disagreement about inflation expectations and monetary policy transmission," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 15-31.
    2. Binder, Carola C., 2017. "Measuring uncertainty based on rounding: New method and application to inflation expectations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 1-12.
    3. Francesco D’Acunto & Ulrike Malmendier & Juan Ospina & Michael Weber, 2021. "Exposure to Grocery Prices and Inflation Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 129(5), pages 1615-1639.
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