Research Discussion Paper – RDP 2009-06 Inflation Volatility and Forecast Accuracy Abstract

This paper examines the statistical properties of inflation in a sample of inflation-targeting and non-inflation-targeting countries. First, it analyses the time-varying volatility of a measure of the persistent component of inflation. Based on this measure, inflation-targeting countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom) have experienced a relatively more pronounced fall in the volatility of inflation than non-inflation-targeting countries (Austria, France, Germany, Japan and the United States). But it is hard to say whether inflation is more volatile in inflation-targeting or non-inflation-targeting countries. Second, it analyses whether inflation became easier to forecast after the introduction of inflation targeting. It finds that inflation became easier to forecast in both inflation-targeting and non-inflation-targeting countries; the improvement was greater for the former group but forecast errors remain smaller for the latter group.

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