Given the influence that agents’ expectations have on key macroeconomic variables, it is surprising that very few papers have tried to extrapolate agents’ “true” expectations directly from the data. This paper presents one such approach, starting with the hypothesis that there is sluggishness in inflation and real GDP growth forecasts.
We construct a 23-country panel data set to consider the effect of central bank projections and forward guidance on private-sector forecast disagreement. We find that central bank projections and forward guidance matter mainly for private-sector forecast disagreement surrounding upcoming policy rate decisions and matter less for private-sector macroeconomic forecasts.
The Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) has had vast influence on research related to better understanding expectation formation and the behaviour of macroeconomic agents. Inflation expectations, in particular, have received a great deal of attention, since they play a crucial role in determining real interest rates, the expectations-augmented Phillips curve and monetary policy.