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ECB: Inflation and inflation expectations

ECB: Inflation and inflation expectations

27.5.2011 10:11

Why looking at inflation expectations?
Ahead of the ECB meeting, which will take place in about two weeks, on the 9th of June, we’d like to focus somewhat more on the debate which is currently ongoing, not only within the ECB, but also in other central banks, on inflation and inflation expectations. Should the ECB raise rates further in order to keep inflationary pressures in check, in line with their goal of keeping inflation below but close to 2%? Of course, the ECB will take many other facts into consideration like the state of the business cycle, the EMU debt crisis and the absolute level of official rates. In this report we will only highlight developments in inflation and inflation expectations and what it meant in terms of ECB policy in the past rate cycles. A more detailed preview on the next ECB meeting will be available a few days before the meeting.

Keeping inflationary pressures in check is central to good monetary policy as, in the long run, low inflation promotes growth, efficiency and stability, which supports maximum sustainable employment. Inflation expectations greatly influence actual inflation as they affect households’ and firms’ spending decisions, but also influence wage- and price setting. Therefore inflation expectations are of great value.

Besides the well-known “output gap” model, central bankers use also measures of inflation expectations to determine their policy. In this Flash Report, we will look at those measures to see what they tell us about the current situation. There are two sources of data on inflation expectations: the first group derives from surveys of professional forecasters and the general public and the second group derives from market prices of various financial securities.

Please download full version of the report from Economy / Analyses section.

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