What lies beneath: what can disaggregated data tell us about the behaviour of prices?

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 27 February 2009

Working Paper No. 364
By Haroon Mumtaz, Pawel Zabczyk and Colin Ellis

This paper uses a factor-augmented vector autoregression technique to examine the role that macroeconomic and sector-specific factors play in UK price fluctuations at the aggregate and disaggregated levels. Macroeconomic factors are less important for disaggregated prices than aggregate ones. There also appears to be significant aggregation bias - the persistence of aggregate inflation series is much higher than the underlying persistence across the range of disaggregated price series. Our results suggest that monetary policy affects relative prices in the short to medium term, and that the degree of competition within industries plays a role in determining pricing behaviour.

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