Perceptions and Expectations of Inflation by U.S. Households
To better understand inflation expectations, we examine newly available data on U.S. households' inflation perceptions-what people think inflation has been in the past. The overarching summary is that inflation perceptions look similar to inflation expectations. The central tendencies of the responses for perceived inflation over the past five to ten years are similar to those of expected inflation for the next five to ten years, and all are a little above official estimates of inflation. Thus, survey respondents overall do not expect long-term inflation to change in the future relative to ...
Inflation Expectations and Monetary Policy Design: Evidence from the Laboratory
Using laboratory experiments within a New Keynesian framework, we explore the interaction between the formation of inflation expectations and monetary policy design. The central question in this paper is how to design monetary policy when expectations formation is not perfectly rational. Instrumental rules that use actual rather than forecasted inflation produce lower inflation variability and reduce expectational cycles. A forward-looking Taylor rule where a reaction coefficient equals 4 produces lower inflation variability than rules with reaction coefficients of 1.5 and 1.35. Inflation ...
Understanding Persistent Stagnation
We theoretically explore long-run stagnation at the zero lower bound in a representative agent framework. We analytically compare expectations-driven stagnation to a secular stagnation episode and find contrasting policy implications for changes in government spending, supply shocks and neo-Fisherian policies. On the other hand, a minimum wage policy is expansionary and robust to the source of stagnation. Using Bayesian methods, we estimate a DSGE model that can accommodate two competing hypotheses of long-run stagnation in Japan. We document that equilibrium selection under indeterminacy ...
Household Inflation Expectations and Consumer Spending: Evidence from Panel Data
Recent research offers mixed results concerning the relationship between inflation expectations and consumption, using qualitative measures of readiness to spend. We revisit this question using survey panel data of actual spending from the U.S. between 2009 and 2012 that also allows us to control for household heterogeneity. We find that durables spending increases with expected inflation only for selected types of households while nondurables spending does not respond to expected inflation. Moreover, spending decreases with expected unemployment. These results imply a limited stimulating ...
Effects of Monetary Policy on Household Expectations: The Role of Homeownership
We study the role of homeownership in the effectiveness of monetary policy on households' expectations. Empirically, we find that homeowners revise down their near-term inflation expectations and their optimism about future labor market conditions in response to a rise in mortgage rates, while renters are less likely to do so. We further show that the monetary-policy component of mortgage-rate changes creates the difference in expectation revisions between homeowners and renters. This result suggests that homeowners are attentive to news on interest rates and adjust their expectations ...
What Is Driving the Recent Rise in Consumer Inflation Expectations?
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers (the “Michigan Survey” hereafter) is the main source of information regarding consumers’ expectations of future inflation in the United States. The most recent release of the Michigan Survey on March 25 drew considerable attention because it showed a large spike in year-ahead expectations for inflation: as shown in the chart below, the median rose from 3.4 to 4.6 percent and the other quartiles of responses showed similar increases. What may have caused this rise in inflation expectations and what lessons should be taken ...
Has the Anchoring of Inflation Expectations Changed in the United States during the Past Decade?
The financial crisis and Great Recession led to dramatic shifts in U.S. monetary policy over the past decade, with potential implications for inflation expectations. Prior to the crisis, inflation expectations were well anchored. But during the crisis and recovery, the Federal Reserve turned to new policies such as large-scale asset purchases (LSAPs). In addition, the Federal Open Market Committee adopted a formal inflation target in 2012, with the stated goal of keeping longer-term inflation expectations stable. Did inflation expectations remain anchored during this period of unconventional ...
Greater Than the Sum of the Parts: Aggregate vs. Aggregated Inflation Expectations
Using novel survey evidence on consumer inflation expectations disaggregated by personal consumption expenditure (PCE) categories, we document the paradox that consumers' aggregate inflation expectations usually exceed any individual category expectation. We explore procedures for aggregating category inflation expectations, and find that the inconsistency between aggregate and aggregated inflation expectations rises with subjective uncertainty and is systematically related to socioeconomic characteristics. Overall, our results are inconsistent with the notion that consumers' aggregate ...
How Much Do Inflation Expectations Matter for Inflation Dynamics?
Inflation dynamics are often described by some form of the Phillips curve. Named after A. W. Phillips, the British economist whose study of U.K. wage and unemployment data laid the groundwork, the Phillips curve denotes an inverse relationship between inflation and some measure of economic slack. A much-discussed issue in the literature is how forward-looking this relationship is. In this post, we address this question using a flexible version of the New Keynesian Phillips curve (NKPC) to illustrate the key role that expectations play in inflation dynamics.
Term Structures of Inflation Expectations and Real Interest Rates: The Effects of Unconventional Monetary Policy
Inflation expectations have recently received increased interest because of the uncertainty created by the Federal Reserve?s unprecedented reaction to the Great Recession. The effect of this reaction on the real economy is also an important topic. In this paper I use various surveys to produce a term structure of inflation expectations ? inflation expectations at any horizon from 3 to 120 months ? and an associated term structure of real interest rates. Inflation expectations extracted from this model track actual (ex-post) realizations of inflation quite well, and in terms of forecast ...