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Inflation Expectations in Times of COVID-19

Olivier Armantier, Gizem Kosar, Rachel Pomerantz, Daphne Skandalis, Kyle Smith, Giorgio Topa () and Wilbert van der Klaauw ()

No 20200513, Liberty Street Economics from Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Abstract: As an important driver of the inflation process, inflation expectations must be monitored closely by policymakers to ensure they remain consistent with long-term monetary policy objectives. In particular, if inflation expectations start drifting away from the central bank’s objective, they could become permanently “un-anchored” in the long run. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis unlike any other, its impact on short- and medium-term inflation has been challenging to predict. In this post, we summarize the results of our forthcoming paper that makes use of the Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) to study how the COVID-19 outbreak has affected the public’s inflation expectations. We find that, so far, households’ inflation expectations have not exhibited a consistent upward or downward trend since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the data reveal unprecedented increases in individual uncertainty—and disagreement across respondents—about future inflation outcomes. Close monitoring of these measures is warranted because elevated levels may signal a risk of inflation expectations becoming unanchored.

Keywords: COVID-19; inflation expectations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E52 E31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-05-13
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mac and nep-mon
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