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Economic Brief

Oct. 5, 2021

Richmond Fed Research Looks at Various Measures of Inflation Expectations

Inflationary expectations are measured in a variety of ways. The Richmond Fed’s latest Economic Brief examines the various methods and discusses the differences.

Economists Pierre-Daniel Sarte and John O’Trakoun and writer John Mullin compare survey-based forecasts with forecasts based on a signal extraction model. They find that since 1980 survey forecasts have been modestly higher on average than the forecasts derived from this statistical model. Moreover, the model-based forecasts have sometimes reacted more quickly than survey forecasts to changes in actual inflation.

The Richmond Fed’s Economic Brief series provides essays on economic issues and trends. Sign up to receive an email notification when a new essay is posted.


As part of our nation’s central bank, the Richmond Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks working together with the Board of Governors to support a healthy economy and deliver on our mission to foster economic stability and strength. We connect with community and business leaders across the Fifth Federal Reserve District — including the Carolinas, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and most of West Virginia — to monitor economic conditions, address issues facing our communities, and share this information with monetary and financial policymakers. We also work with banks to ensure they are operating safely and soundly, supply financial institutions with currency that’s fit for distribution, and provide a safe and efficient way to transfer funds through our nation’s payments system.

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