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Respondents to the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) for the third quarter of 2017 reported average point forecasts for inflation of 1.5%, 1.4% and 1.6% in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. That represents downward revisions of 0.1 percentage points at each of those three horizons.

Average longer-term inflation expectations (which referred to 2022) remained unchanged at 1.8%.

Expectations for the annual inflation rate of HICP excluding food and energy were revised upwards for 2017, to 1.1%, but remained unchanged for all other forecast horizons (1.3% in 2018, 1.5% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2022).

SPF respondents revised their expectations for growth in euro area economic activity upwards for 2017 and 2018 by 0.2 percentage points to 1.9%, and 1.8%, respectively. Expectations for economic growth in 2019 were revised up by 0.1 percentage points to 1.6%. There were no changes to longer-term economic growth expectations (1.6%).


Unemployment rate expectations continued to show a declining trajectory. The average point forecasts were 9.2%, 8.8% and 8.4% for 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. Relative to the SPF for the second quarter of 2017, this represents downward revisions of 0.2, 0.3 and 0.3 percentage points for 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. The average point forecast for the longer-term unemployment rate (which referred to 2022) was revised downwards by 0.3 percentage points, to 8.1%.