The Formation of Inflation Perceptions – Some Empirical Facts for European Countries
This paper presents some empirical facts on the dynamics of perceived inflation rates for EU countries. First, we find that perceptions are inefficient and highly heteroge- neous, yet contemporaneously related to the actual rate of inflation. Second, similar to studies on inflation expectations, we estimate how often European consumers up- date their inflation perceptions employing Carroll's (2003) epidemiological model. The advantage of employing perceived instead of expected inflation is that the value of the newest information can exactly be measured: the actual rate of inflation. Our findings indicate that the stickiness of perceptions is generally higher than the stick- iness of expectations. Unlike studies using expectations, however, we cannot confirm that a constant fraction of the population updates information every month. Also observed heterogeneity of perceptions is much higher than implied by the epidemio- logical model.
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