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Consumers' Attitudes and Their Inflation Expectations

Author

Listed:
  • Ehrmann, Michael

    (Bank of Canada)

  • Pfajfar, Damjan

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))

  • Santoro, Emilianio

    (University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

This paper studies consumers' inflation expectations using micro-level data from the Surveys of Consumers conducted by University of Michigan. It shows that beyond the well-established socio-economic factors such as income, age or gender, other characteristics such as the households' financial situation and their purchasing attitudes are important determinants of their forecast accuracy. Respondents with current or expected financial difficulties, pessimistic attitudes about major purchases, or expectations that income will go down in the future have a stronger upward bias in their expectations than other households. However, their bias shrinks by more than that of the average household in response to increasing media reporting about inflation. Equivalent results are found during recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ehrmann, Michael & Pfajfar, Damjan & Santoro, Emilianio, 2015. "Consumers' Attitudes and Their Inflation Expectations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2015-15
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/feds/2015/files/2015015pap.pdf
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2015.015
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Friedrich, Christian, 2016. "Global inflation dynamics in the post-crisis period: What explains the puzzles?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 31-34.
    2. Marco Malgarini, 2009. "Quantitative Inflation Perceptions and Expectations of Italian Consumers," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 68(1), pages 53-80, April.
    3. Easaw, Joshy & Golinelli, Roberto & Malgarini, Marco, 2013. "What determines households inflation expectations? Theory and evidence from a household survey," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-13.
    4. Rüdiger Bachmann & Tim O. Berg & Eric R. Sims, 2015. "Inflation Expectations and Readiness to Spend: Cross-Sectional Evidence," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 1-35, February.
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    6. Robert D. J. Anderson, 2008. "US Consumer Inflation Expectations: Evidence Regarding Learning, Accuracy and Demographics," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 99, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    7. Michael J. Lamla & Thomas Maag, 2012. "The Role of Media for Inflation Forecast Disagreement of Households and Professional Forecasters," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(7), pages 1325-1350, October.
    8. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2015. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2644-2678, August.
    9. Georganas, Sotiris & Healy, Paul J. & Li, Nan, 2014. "Frequency bias in consumers׳ perceptions of inflation: An experimental study," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 144-158.
    10. Menz, Jan-Oliver & Poppitz, Philipp, 2013. "Households' disagreement on inflation expectations and socioeconomic media exposure in Germany," Discussion Papers 27/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    11. Carlos Madeira & Basit Zafar, 2015. "Heterogeneous Inflation Expectations and Learning," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(5), pages 867-896, August.
    12. Ranyard, Rob & Missier, Fabio Del & Bonini, Nicolao & Duxbury, Darren & Summers, Barbara, 2008. "Perceptions and expectations of price changes and inflation: A review and conceptual framework," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 378-400, August.
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    14. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations of Households and Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298.
    15. Souleles, Nicholas S, 2004. "Expectations, Heterogeneous Forecast Errors, and Consumption: Micro Evidence from the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Surveys," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 39-72, February.
    16. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
    17. Pfajfar, D. & Santoro, E., 2008. "Asymmetries in Inflation Expectation Formation Across Demographic Groups," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0824, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David-Jan Jansen & Matthias Neuenkirch, 2017. "News Consumption, Political Preferences, and Accurate Views on Inflation," Research Papers in Economics 2017-03, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:aut:wpaper:201906 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Berge, Travis J., 2018. "Understanding survey-based inflation expectations," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 788-801.
    4. Raïsa Basselier & David de Antonio Liedo & Jana Jonckheere & Geert Langenus, 2018. "Can in?ation expectations in business or consumer surveys improve in?ation forecasts?," Working Paper Research 348, National Bank of Belgium.
    5. repec:eee:ecolet:v:161:y:2017:i:c:p:112-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ioana A. Duca & Geoff Kenny & Andreas Reuter, 2019. "Inflation Expectations, Consumption and the Lower Bound: Micro Evidence from a Large Euro Area Survey," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 092, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    7. Pattanaik, Sitikantha & Muduli, Silu & Ray, Soumyajit, 2019. "Inflation Expectations of Households: Do They Influence Wage-Price Dynamics in India?," EconStor Preprints 193462, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    8. Duca, Ioana A. & Kenny, Geoff & Reuter, Andreas, 2018. "Inflation expectations, consumption and the lower bound: micro evidence from a large euro area survey," Working Paper Series 2196, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer Attitudes; Inflation Expectations; News on Inflation;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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