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Consumer inflation expectations in October 2015

Date: 30-10-2015

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

Narodowy Bank Polski released monthly data on consumer inflation expectations on 30 October 2015. The expectations index, that is the difference between the percentage of consumers who expect prices to rise faster than at present and the sum total of the percentage of consumers who expect prices to rise at a slower rate than at present, remain unchanged or fall, was -33 percentage points in October. In September, the index reached -22 percentage points. Analysis of the inflation expectations index shows that from 2012 to the middle of 2015 consumers expected diminishing price growth over the next 12 months. Since the middle of 2015, this tendency seems to have reversed, reflecting a steady increase in the percentage of respondents who expect price growth and a fall in the percentage of respondents who expect price stabilisation. Although in October the opposite changes were observed in the structure of responses and the value of the expectations index fell, it still remains at a significantly higher level than in the middle of the year (in June 2015 the indicator stood at -47).

Quantification of the data obtained in the GUS survey conducted in the first half of October 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 0.23 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 October 2015, the figure was negative at -0.6%. Such a result makes it difficult to interpret the survey results because, in line with the structure of the survey question, the respondents who expect prices to grow are to specify whether growth will be faster, similar or weaker than presently observed. Therefore, the October 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 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 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 October 2015

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