Respondents to the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) for the first quarter of 2019 reported point forecasts for annual HICP inflation averaging 1.5%, 1.6% and 1.7% for 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. These results represent downward revisions of 0.2 percentage point (p.p.) for 2019 and 0.1 p.p. for 2020 compared with the previous (Q4 2018) survey round. Average longer-term inflation expectations (which, like all other longer-term expectations in this SPF, refer to 2023) were revised down to 1.8%, from 1.9% in the previous survey.
SPF respondents’ expectations for growth in euro area real GDP averaged 1.5%, 1.5% and 1.4% for 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. This represents downward revisions of 0.3 p.p. for 2019 and 0.1 p.p. for 2020. Average longer-term expectations for real GDP growth were revised down to 1.5%, from 1.6% in the previous survey.
Average unemployment rate expectations were broadly unchanged. At 7.8%, 7.6% and 7.5% for 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively, the latest expectations continued to point to further falls in the unemployment rate over the next three years. Expectations for the unemployment rate in the longer term remained at 7.5%.