Results of the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters in the third quarter of 2021

  • HICP inflation expectations revised up for all horizons
  • Real GDP growth expectations revised upwards for shorter and medium-term horizons
  • Unemployment rate expectations revised down for all horizons

In the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) for the third quarter of 2021, HICP inflation expectations stood at 1.9%, 1.5% and 1.5% for 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. Compared with the previous round for the second quarter of 2021, these were revised upward by 0.3 percentage points for 2021, 0.2 percentage points for 2022 and 0.05 percentage points for 2023 (unchanged rounded to the first decimal point). Respondents once again confirmed that they considered some of the factors behind the expected increase in inflation in 2021 to be temporary but believed that underlying inflation pressure would gradually rise as economic activity recovers. Longer-term inflation expectations for 2026 stood at 1.8%, revised up from 1.7% for 2025 in the previous round.

Regarding GDP growth, SPF respondents revised up their expectations for 2021-2023. These expectations imply that economic activity will surpass its pre-pandemic level (fourth quarter of 2019) in the fourth quarter of 2021, one quarter earlier than previously expected. Average longer-term expectations for real GDP growth were unchanged at 1.4%.

The profile of unemployment has been revised down for all horizons.

Indicators of the uncertainty surrounding expectations for the main macroeconomic variables mostly eased further but remained relatively elevated by historical standards.

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