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Consumer inflation expectations in April 2016

Date: 29-04-2016

NBP data: Consumers surveyed by the Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS) in the first half of April expect prices to rise only slightly over the next 12 months.

Narodowy Bank Polski released monthly data on consumer inflation expectations on 29 April 2015.

The expectations index, that is the difference between the percentage of consumers who expect prices to rise faster than at present and the percentage of consumers who expect prices to rise at a slower rate than at present, remain unchanged or fall, was -35 percentage points (compared with -36 percentage points a month before). In the middle of January 2016, a rising trend in the expected price movements was identified, which, however, has been halted.

Quantification of the data obtained in the GUS survey conducted in the first half of April 2015 shows that the average inflation index as expected by consumers over the next 12 months is still close to zero (0.20 percent compared to 0.21 percent a month earlier). 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 available at the time of the survey. In April 2015, the figure was negative at – 0.8%. Such a result introduces some difficulty to the interpretation of the survey results, because, in line with the structure of the survey question, the respondents who expect prices to grow are to specify whether the growth will be faster, similar or weaker than presently observed. Therefore, the April quantification procedure used the last registered positive rate of current inflation (i.e. the August 2014 figure 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 this operation renders the objectified assessment of inflation expectations more tentative, and the quantification results should be treated as an approximation.

Narodowy Bank Polski examines on a regular basis the 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 in April 2016

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