In the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) for the second quarter of 2021, HICP inflation expectations stood at 1.6%, 1.3% and 1.5% for 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. Compared with the previous round for the first quarter of 2021, these were revised upward by 0.7 percentage points for 2021 but unchanged for 2022 and 2023. Respondents reported that they considered the factors behind the upward revision for 2021 to be largely temporary. Longer-term inflation expectations (for 2025) stood at 1.7%, also unchanged compared with the previous round
Regarding GDP growth, SPF respondents revised down their expectations for 2021 but up for 2022, implying a further delay in the expected recovery. The expectations imply a return of GDP during 2022 to above its 2019 level. However, this would still be 2.6% lower than the level for 2022 implied in the survey round for the first quarter of 2020, i.e. before Europe was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Average longer-term expectations for real GDP growth were unchanged at 1.4%.
The profile of unemployment has been revised down for 2021-23 but longer-term expectations were unchanged at 7.4% for 2025, implying an overall slightly less pronounced downward trajectory.
Indicators of the uncertainty surrounding expectations for the main macroeconomic variables mostly eased somewhat but remained elevated by historical standards.