Global inflation forecasts

BIS Working Papers No 582
September 2016

Inflation co-moves across countries and several papers have shown that lags of this common inflation can help to forecast country inflation. This paper constructs forecasts of common (or 'global') inflation using survey forecasts of country inflation. These forecasts of global inflation have predictive power for global inflation at a medium horizon (12 months) but not at a longer horizon. Global inflation forecasts, and forecast errors, are correlated with survey forecasts and errors of oil and food prices, and global GDP growth, but not financial variables. For some countries, forecasts of global inflation improve the accuracy of forecasting regressions that include survey forecasts of country inflation. In-sample fit and out-of-sample forecasting exercises suggest that forecasts of global inflation generally contain more information for forecasting country inflation than do lags of global inflation. However, for most countries, lagged or forecast global inflation does not improve the accuracy of survey forecasts of country inflation. Whatever information global inflation may include about country inflation, for most countries it seems that survey forecasts of country inflation have historically already incorporated that information.

JEL classification: C53, E31, E37

Keywords: Global inflation, inflation forecasts, survey forecasts