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Measuring disagreement in UK consumer and central bank inflation forecasts

  • Richhild Moessner
  • Feng Zhu
  • Colin Ellis
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We provide a new perspective on disagreement in inflation expectations by examining the full probability distributions of UK consumer inflation forecasts based on an adaptive bootstrap multimodality test. Furthermore, we compare the inflation forecasts of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) with those of UK consumers, for which we use data from the 2001-2007 February GfK NOP consumer surveys. Our analysis indicates substantial disagreement among UK consumers, and between the MPC and consumers, concerning one-year- ahead inflation forecasts. Such disagreement persisted throughout the sample, with no signs of convergence, consistent with consumers' inflation expectations not being "well-anchored" in the sense of matching the central bank's expectations. UK consumers had far more diverse views about future inflation than the MPC. It is possible that the MPC enjoyed certain information advantages which allowed it to have a narrower range of inflation forecasts.

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Paper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 339.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:339
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  1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Augusto Marc Rocha Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2004. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm391, Yale School of Management.
  2. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert & Min Wei, 2006. "Do macro variables, asset markets, or surveys forecast inflation better?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Francis X. Diebold & Anthony S. Tay & Kenneth F. Wallis, 1997. "Evaluating Density Forecasts of Inflation: The Survey of Professional Forecasters," NBER Working Papers 6228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gianna Boero & Jeremy Smith & KennethF. Wallis, 2008. "Uncertainty and Disagreement in Economic Prediction: The Bank of England Survey of External Forecasters," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1107-1127, 07.
  5. Lahiri, Kajal & Teigland, Christie, 1987. "On the normality of probability distributions of inflation and GNP forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 269-279.
  6. Leduc, Sylvain & Sill, Keith & Stark, Tom, 2007. "Self-fulfilling expectations and the inflation of the 1970s: Evidence from the Livingston Survey," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 433-459, March.
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