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Working Paper

The Distributional Predictive Content of Measures of Inflation Expectations

This paper examines the predictive relationship between the distribution of realized inflation in the US and measures of inflation expectations from households, firms, financial markets, and professional forecasters. To allow for nonlinearities in the predictive relationship we use quantile regression methods. We find that the ability of households to predict future inflation, relative to that of professionals, firms, and the market, increases with inflation. While professional forecasters are more accurate in the middle of the inflation density, households’ expectations are more useful in the upper tail. The predictive ability of measures of inflation expectations is greatest when combined. We show that it is helpful to let the combination weights on different agents’ expectations of inflation vary by quantile when assessing inflationary pressures probabilistically.

Working Papers of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment on research in progress. They may not have been subject to the formal editorial review accorded official Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland publications. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Federal Reserve System.

Suggested Citation

Mitchell, James, and Saeed Zaman. 2023. “The Distributional Predictive Content of Measures of Inflation Expectations.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 23-31.