Inflation Expectations and the Fed

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The Cleveland Fed has released its latest estimates of expected inflation, and Matt Yglesias thinks it’s good news for the Fed:

I’d say it looks like mission accomplished for the FOMC. Relative to last month, short-term expectations are meaningfully higher indicating a coordination of expectations along a higher demand equilibrium. But long-term expectations remain “anchored” exactly where they were.

As you can see in the modified version of the chart on the right, 1-year inflation expectations have gone up from 1.6 percent to 2.1 percent, while 10-year inflation expectations have remained anchored at 1.5 percent.

But I’m not sure what this tells us. The data is for the first day of the month, so the jump in the chart is from November 1 to December 1. That’s obviously not the result of Wednesday’s Fed announcement. Likewise, September’s Fed announcement should show up as a change in expectations between September 1 and October 1, but inflation expectations declined between those two dates. I’d like to hear more about this from the folks who follow this closely, but to me it looks more like random month-to-month noise than anything else.


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