Lars Jonung, Lund University and Swedish Fiscal Policy Council, and Staffan Lindén, European Commission
(European Economy. Economic Papers. 435. December 2010.
Brussels. PDF. 31pp. Tab. Graph. Bibliogr. Free.)
KC-AI-10-435-EN-N ISBN: 978-92-79-14921-4 ISSN: 1725-3195
We use survey based inflationary expectations to explore the forecasting horizons implicitly used by the respondents to questions about the expected rate of inflation during the coming 12 months. We examine the forecast errors, the mean error and the RMSEs, to study if the forecast horizon is truly 12 months as implied by the questionnaires. Our working hypothesis is that the forecast error has a U-shaped pattern, reaching its lowest value on the 12-month horizon. Our exploratory study reveals large differences across countries. For most countries, we get the expected U-shaped outcome for the forecast errors. The horizon implicitly used by respondents when answering the questions is not related to the explicit time horizon of the questionnaire. On average respondents use the same horizon when answering both questions.