Central bank asset purchases and inflation expectations

18 March 2013

This article analyses the effect of the asset purchase programmes implemented by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England in the wake of the global financial crisis on market- and survey-based measures of inflation expectations. The analysis suggests that central bank asset purchases did have significant effects, but that their quantitative importance is uncertain. While short- and longer-term inflation expectation measures displayed sizeable upward movements towards pre-crisis levels during the implementation of asset purchase programmes, the reaction of inflation swap rates on the days of programme announcements suggests that central bank asset purchases were probably not the main driver of these shifts.

JEL classification: E31, E52, E58