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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Working Paper Series
Survey measures of expected inflation and the inflation process
Bharat Trehan
Abstract

This paper uses data from surveys of expected inflation to learn how the expectations formation processes of households and professionals have changed following a change in the inflation process in the early part of this decade. Households do not appear to have recognized the change in the process, and are placing substantially more weight than appears warranted on recent inflation data when forming expectations about inflation over the next year. Professional forecasters do appear to have changed how they predict inflation in recent years, in a way that appears consistent, at first, with the finding that the ‘core’ inflation process has not changed as much as the ‘headline’ inflation process has. But the professionals appear to be placing too much weight on lagged core inflation data, and over recent sample periods professional forecasts of headline CPI inflation are noticeably worse than the alternatives. Some other evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that they are now focusing on the core CPI.


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Bharat Trehan, Survey measures of expected inflation and the inflation process, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Working Paper Series 2009-10, 2009.
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Keywords: Inflation (Finance)
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