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Consumer inflation expectations in December 2014

Date: 31-12-2014

NBP data: Consumers surveyed by GUS in the first half of December expect prices to rise slightly in the next 12 months.

The NBP release on inflation expectations of consumers, published on 31 December 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 and a half now.

Quantification of the data obtained in a survey conducted by GUS in the first half of December shows the average inflation index as expected by consumers over the next 12 months to stand at around 0.2% – i.e. the same level as in the four previous months.

The expectations quantification procedure, which translates respondents’ subjective perceptions into the language of official inflation statistics, assumes that the price change in the preceding 12 months as perceived by consumers equals the CPI index available at the time of the survey. In December, this figure was negative at -0.6%. 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, similar or weaker than presently observed. With this in mind, the December 2014 quantification procedure used the latest positive rate of current inflation (i.e. the August figure of 0.3%). to represent the current inflation, instead of the negative rate of inflation available at the time of the survey. The technical nature of this operation renders the objectivized assessment of inflation expectations more tentative, and the quantification results should be treated as an approximation.

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, December 2014

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