Finance and Economics Discussion Series (FEDS)
Consumers' Attitudes and Their Inflation Expectations
Michael Ehrmann, Damjan Pfajfar, and Emiliano Santoro
This paper studies consumers' inflation expectations using micro-level data from the Surveys of Consumers conducted by University of Michigan. It shows that beyond the well-established socio-economic factors such as income, age or gender, other characteristics such as the households' financial situation and their purchasing attitudes are important determinants of their forecast accuracy. Respondents with current or expected financial difficulties, pessimistic attitudes about major purchases, or expectations that income will go down in the future have a stronger upward bias in their expectations than other households. However, their bias shrinks by more than that of the average household in response to increasing media reporting about inflation. Equivalent results are found during recessions.
Keywords: Consumer Attitudes, Inflation Expectations, News on Inflation
PDF: Full Paper