The FINANCIAL — Respondents to the ECB’s Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) for the first quarter of 2017 report average point forecasts for inflation of 1.4%, 1.5% and 1.6% in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.
That represents an upward revision of 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point to expectations for 2017 and 2018, respectively. These upward revisions largely reflect the increase in the price of oil (converted into euro terms). Average longer-term inflation expectations (for 2021) remain unchanged at 1.8%.
SPF respondents revised their expectations for growth in euro area economic activity upwards for 2017, by 0.1 percentage point, but there were no changes to expectations for 2018 or for the longer term (2021). Real GDP growth expectations were 1.5% per annum for each calendar year from 2017 to 2019, according to ECB.
Unemployment rate expectations continue to imply a declining trajectory. The average point forecasts are 9.5%, 9.2% and 8.9% for 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. This represents downward revisions, relative to the SPF for the fourth quarter of 2016, of 0.2 percentage point for 2017 and 0.1 percentage point for 2018. The average point forecast for the longer-term unemployment rate (in 2021) was revised downwards by 0.2 percentage point, to 8.5%.