Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Party Like It’s 1999

No, I’m not talking about a NASDAQ party; I’m talking about a disinflation party. The Philadelphia Fed’s Survey of Professional Forecasters reports, for the first time since the first quarter of 1999, that the median long-term (10-year) CPI inflation forecast has broken out of the 2.45% to 2.55% range – and the breakout is on the downside. (Thanks to Dave Altig of Macroblog for bringing this to my attention, whether or not that was his intention.) For the first quarter of 2007, the median is reported at 2.35% – only the second time in the history of the survey that it has been below 2.45%. (It was 2.3% in Q1 1999.) I guess the survey’s participants have come to agree with me that the Chairman’s fondness for helicopters makes him more a hawk than a dove.

The chart below shows how dramatic this breakout looks in the context of the last 8 years. (Naturally, it wouldn’t look quite so dramatic if I included the earlier data, as in this post from last August.) So break out your party hats and let’s get rip-roaring sober!

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7 Comments:

Blogger Mark Thoma said...

If you look at TIPs derived expectations, the picture is different:

http://clevelandfed.org/research/Inflation/TIPS/index.cfm

Tue Apr 24, 11:41:00 AM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

I mentioned TIPS in my comment on Dave's post. But looking at the TIPS chart now, it's not at all clear what is going on. I'm increasingly skeptical about their adjustment, and the raw series (as well as the adjusted one) undoubtedly contains a lot of (probably non-classical) noise, making it difficult to detect a 10 basis point change in the signal. One issue here is that uncertainty about inflation has probably risen recently, which might cause the inflation risk premium to rise even as expected inflation falls.

Tue Apr 24, 12:18:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, well... this is all very interesting.

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