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Revisions to PCE inflation measures: implications for monetary policy

  • Dean Croushore

This paper examines the characteristics of the revisions to the inflation rate as measured by the personal consumption expenditures price index both including and excluding food and energy prices. These data series play a major role in the Federal Reserve’s analysis of inflation. ; The author examines the magnitude and patterns of revisions to both PCE inflation rates. The first question he poses is: What do data revisions look like? The author runs a variety of tests to see if the data revisions have desirable or exploitable properties. The second question he poses is related to the first: Can we forecast data revisions in real time? The answer is that it is possible to forecast revisions from the initial release to August of the following year. Generally, the initial release of inflation is too low and is likely to be revised up. Policymakers should account for this predictability in setting monetary policy.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 08-8.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:08-8
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  1. Jon Faust & John H. Rogers & Jonathan H. Wright, 2000. "News and noise in G-7 GDP announcements," International Finance Discussion Papers 690, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
  3. Anthony Garratt & Shaun P Vahey, 2005. "UK Real-Time Macro Data Characteristics," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0502, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  4. William Conrad & Carol Corrado, 1978. "Applications of the Kalman filter to revisions in monthly retail sales estimates," Special Studies Papers 125, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Aruoba, Boragan, 2005. "Data Revisions Are Not Well-Behaved," CEPR Discussion Papers 5271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Patterson, Kerry D & Heravi, Saeed M, 1991. "Data Revisions and the Expenditure Components of GDP," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 887-901, July.
  7. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "A real-time data set for marcoeconomists: does the data vintage matter?," Working Papers 99-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. Mork, Knut Anton, 1987. "Ain't Behavin': Forecast Errors and Measurement Errors in Early GNP Estimates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(2), pages 165-75, April.
  9. Andrew C. Krikelas, 1994. "Revision to payroll employment data: are they predictable?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Nov, pages 17-29.
  10. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Patterson, K. D., 1994. "A state space model for reducing the uncertainty associated with preliminary vintages of data with an application to aggregate consumption," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 215-222, November.
  12. Croushore, Dean, 2006. "Forecasting with Real-Time Macroeconomic Data," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  13. Howrey, E Philip, 1978. "The Use of Preliminary Data in Econometric Forecasting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 193-200, May.
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