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Measuring consumer uncertainty about future inflation



We introduce a survey-based measure of uncertainty about future inflation, asking consumers for density forecasts across inflation outcomes. Consumers are willing and able to express uncertainty, showing high response rates and response patterns that are reliably related to qualitative measures of uncertainty. Heterogeneity in expressed uncertainty is associated with demographic characteristics and financial literacy, and measures of central tendency derived from density forecasts are strongly correlated with point forecasts. Furthermore, expressed uncertainty is positively related to point forecast levels and to larger revisions in point forecasts over time. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.