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Stable price level and changing prices

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  • Suvanto, Antti
  • Hukkinen, Juhana

Abstract

The paper investigates the relationship between relative price movements and changes in the aggregate price level using monthly data on Finland's Consumer Price Index and its components from the period covering the past eight and a half years.This was a period of very low inflation.The rate of growth in the aggregate price level was occasionally very close to zero.The paper shows that declining nominal prices were a rather common phenomenon during this period of low or no inflation.The declining prices cannot, however, be explained by lack of demand or any generalized deflationary tendencies.Hence, the downward rigidity of nominal prices has not prevented relative price adjustments under price stability.The paper develops a new method for looking at the composition of inflation and illustrating how relative price dynamics interact with changes in the aggregate price level.The correlation of relative price variability and aggregate inflation has been negligible, but the correlation between the skewness of price change distribution and aggregate inflation is high.This is in accordance with the predictions of the menu cost models.A significant proportion of the relative price changes appear to have been persistent, suggesting the dominance of productivity and other supply shocks.Key words: price level, inflation, deflation, prices, business cycles JEL classification numbers: E3, E31

Suggested Citation

  • Suvanto, Antti & Hukkinen, Juhana, 2004. "Stable price level and changing prices," Research Discussion Papers 28/2004, Bank of Finland.
  • Handle: RePEc:bof:bofrdp:2004_028
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guse, Eran A., 2004. "Expectational business cycles," Research Discussion Papers 19/2004, Bank of Finland.
    2. Herrendorf, Berthold & Teixeira, Arilton, 2003. "Monopoly Rights can Reduce Income Big Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 3854, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Hyytinen, Ari & Takalo, Tuomas, 2004. "Multihoming in the market for payment media : evidence from young Finnish consumers," Research Discussion Papers 25/2004, Bank of Finland.
    4. Ellison, Martin & Sarno, Lucio & Vilmunen, Jouko, 2004. "Monetary policy and learning in an open economy," Research Discussion Papers 3/2004, Bank of Finland.
    5. Vining, Daniel R, Jr & Elwertowski, Thomas C, 1976. "The Relationship between Relative Prices and the General Price Level," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 699-708, September.
    6. Bagella, Michele & Becchetti, Leonardo & Hasan, Iftekhar, 2004. "The anticipated and concurring effects of the EMU: exchange rate volatility, institutions and growth," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 1053-1080.
    7. Mayes, David & Virén, Matti, 2004. "Asymmetries in the Euro area economy," Research Discussion Papers 9/2004, Bank of Finland.
    8. Kauppi, Heikki & Koskela, Erkki & Stenbacka, Rune, 2004. "Equilibrium unemployment and investment under product and labour market imperfections," Research Discussion Papers 11/2004, Bank of Finland.
    9. Schaling, Eric & Eijffinger, Sylvester & Tesfaselassie, Mewael, 2004. "Heterogenous information about the term structure, least-squares learning and optimal rules for inflation targeting," Research Discussion Papers 23/2004, Bank of Finland.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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