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Inflation (mis)perceptions in the euro area

Abstract

There has been a growing interest on inflation perceptions in the euro area, in particular, following the euro cash changeover. It has been pointed out that a gap emerged between observed and perceived inflation since the introduction of the euro notes and coins. Such a statement relies on the fact that inflation perceptions, measured by the well-known balance statistic from the European Commission’s consumer survey, hiked after January 2002 and remained high thereafter, as opposed to the observed inflation, which has remained fairly stable. In this paper, we discuss the measurement of inflation perceptions, by comparing the balance statistic with a refined alternative measure, which is computed using the probability method. We argue that the balance statistic should be used carefully, as it can lead to misleading conclusions. In fact, we find no evidence, both for euro area and individual countries, of the breakdown in the relationship between observed and perceived inflation, as measured by the proposed alternative measure, at the time of the euro cash changeover.

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Correspondence to António Rua.

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Dias, F., Duarte, C. & Rua, A. Inflation (mis)perceptions in the euro area. Empir Econ 39, 353–369 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00181-009-0307-5

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Keywords

  • Inflation perceptions
  • Probability method
  • Balance statistic
  • Euro area cash changeover
  • Cointegration breakdown

JEL Classification

  • C16
  • C42
  • E31