Disagreement in inflation forecasts and inflation risk premia in Brazil

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The aim of this study is to investigate the link between the inflation uncertainty and the inflation risk premia implied by the term structures of nominal and real interest rates in Brazil. We gauge the latter by the difference between the breakeven inflation rate and agents’ inflation median expectations in the Focus Survey published by the Central Bank of Brazil. To proxy for inflation uncertainty, we employ the standard deviation of the 12-month inflation expectations in the Focus Survey. We first estimate the impact of inflation uncertainty on the inflation risk premia across different horizons using a VAR approach. We find that shocks in inflation uncertainty significantly affect the 9-, 12-, 24- and 36-month inflation risk premia. The impact is positive, increasing with maturity at least up to 12 months. We then estimate an alternative VAR specification that summarizes the term structure of inflarion risk premia by means of level, slope and curvature factors. It turns out that shocks in inflation uncertainty do not affect the slope and curvature factors, resulting only in parallel shifts in the inflation premium term structure. This is in line with the fact that the higher the inflation uncertainty, the higher is the compensation that investors will require to hold fixed rate bonds. 

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