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Consumer inflation expectations in March 2016

Date: 31-03-2016

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

On 31 March, Narodowy Bank Polski released the monthly data on consumers' inflation expectations.

The expectation index, i.e. the difference between the percentage of respondents expecting prices to rise faster than at present and the sum of the percentages of respondents expecting them to rise more slowly, remain unchanged or fall, amounted to -36% percentage points (compared with -35 percentage points a month before). Since mid-2015an upward trend in this index had been observed, which, however, has levelled off in recent months.

Quantification of the data obtained in the GUS survey conducted in the first half of March shows that the average inflation index as expected by consumers over the next 12 months is still hovering close to zero (0.21%, i.e. the same figure as in the previous month). 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 March, this figure was negative at -0.7%. Such a result introduces some difficulty to the 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 March quantification procedure used the latest 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 objectivized assessment of inflation expectations more tentative, and the quantification results should be treated as an approximation.

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 in March 2016

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