Measuring Inflation Expectations
Posted: 7 Aug 2013
Date Written: January 2013
To conduct monetary policy, central banks around the world increasingly rely on measures of public inflation expectations. In this article, we review findings from an ongoing initiative at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York aimed at improving the measurement and our understanding of household inflation expectations through surveys. We discuss the importance of question wording and the usefulness of new questions to elicit an individual’s distribution of inflation beliefs. We present evidence suggesting that consumers update their inflation expectations in response to new information and that information dissemination may lead to more informed and reliable reporting of inflation expectations. Finally, we report on a financially incentivized experiment suggesting that expectations surveys are informative and that respondents generally act on their stated beliefs in a way consistent with expected utility theory.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation