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Consumer inflation expectations in September 2014

Date: 30-09-2014

NBP data: Consumers surveyed by GUS in the first half of September expect prices to remain at a low, yet relatively stable level over the next 12 months.

The NBP release on inflation expectations of consumers, published on 30 September 2014, shows that these expectations have remained low – i.e. below the tolerance band for deviations from the NBP inflation target – for over a year now.

Quantification of the data obtained in a survey conducted by GUS (the Central Statistical Office) in the first half of September puts the average inflation index as expected by consumers over the next 12 months at 0.2% - i.e. the same figure as a month before. The quantification procedure, which translates respondents’ subjective perceptions into the language of official inflation statistics, assumes that at the time of the latest survey, respondents’ perceptions of the change in prices in the preceding 12 months equalled the CPI index, which was available at the time of the survey. In September this value was negative and amounted to -0.2%. Such a result introduces some difficulty to interpretation of the survey results. This is because, in line with the structure of the survey question, respondents who expect a price growth are to specify whether the growth will be faster, similarly paced or weaker than presently observed.

With this in mind, the September 2014 quantification procedure used the latest positive rate of current inflation (i.e. previous month’s rate of 0.3%) to represent the perceived current inflation, instead of the negative rate of inflation available at the time of the survey. The technical nature of the operation currently makes the objectivized assessment of inflation expectations more tentative, and the assessment results should be treated as approximations.

Since January 2014, the measure of consumers' inflation expectations has been based on a relevant GUS survey. Until the end of 2013, NBP analysts used corresponding survey data provided by the company Ipsos, which had at its disposal the longest time series of survey data on Polish consumers' expectations. At the beginning of 2014, Ipsos discontinued the consumer surveys from which the data were sourced. The change of the source of survey data on the anticipated price movements has no material impact on the assessment of consumer inflation expectations, as the expected inflation measures quantified with both Ipsos and GUS data have been very similar so far.

Narodowy Bank Polski examines, on a regular basis, inflation expectations of not only consumers, but also the business community, financial analysts and professional forecasters. These provide one of the inputs to the monetary policy decision-making process.

See also: ► Consumer inflation expectations, September 2014

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