Quantitative Inflation Perceptions and Expectations of Italian Consumers
Since February 2003 ISAE collects quantitative inflation opinions, within its monthly survey on Italian consumers. Data confirms the severe overestimation of inflation already emerging from a companion study on Italian consumers (Del Giovane, Fabiani and Sabbatini, 2009); moreover, quantitative replies are in line with more traditional qualitative evaluations derived from the same survey, indicating that overestimation is not a random outcome resulting from casual answers. A first explanation calls for inadequate knowledge of inflation statistics: however, scarce information does not explain per se overestimation. Indeed, overestimation varies across personal characteristics and it is strongly correlated with assessments on economic conditions, those being more optimistic generally showing lower inflation opinions. It is possible that with a scarce statistical knowledge the consumers attribute to high inflation an “economic distress” mainly determined by slow growth of disposable income and psychological factors linked to socio-economic circumstances.
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Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
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