Norges Bank

Working Paper

The Bias and Efficiency of the ECB Inflation Projections: a State Dependent Analysis

Author:
Eleonora Granziera, Pirkka Jalasjoki and Maritta Palovita
Series:
Working Paper
Number:
1/2021

Abstract

We test for bias and efficiency of the ECB inflation forecasts using a confidential dataset of ECB macroeconomic quarterly projections. We investigate whether the properties of the forecasts depend on the level of inflation, by distinguishing whether the inflation  observed by the ECB at the time of forecasting is above or below the target. The forecasts are unbiased and efficient on average, however there is evidence of state dependence. In particular, the ECB tends to overpredict (underpredict) inflation at intermediate forecast horizons when inflation is below (above) target. The magnitude of the bias is larger when inflation is above the target. These results hold even after accounting for errors in the external assumptions. We also find evidence of inefficiency, in the form of underreaction to news, but only when inflation is above the target.
Our findings bear important implications for the ECB forecasting process and ultimately for its communication strategy.

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ISSN 1502-8190 (online)

Published 29 April 2021 13:00
Published 29 April 2021 13:00