Inflation has declined markedly in many economies over the past few years. This chapter finds that disinflation is broad based across countries, measures, and sectors—albeit larger for tradable goods than for services. The main drivers of recent disinflation are persistent economic slack and softening commodity prices. Most of the available measures of medium-term inflation expectations have not declined substantially so far. However, the sensitivity of expectations to inflation surprises—an indicator of the degree of anchoring of inflation expectations—has increased in countries where policy rates have approached their effective lower bounds. While the magnitude of this change in sensitivity is modest, it does suggest that the perceived ability of monetary policy to combat persistent disinflation may be diminishing in these economies.

Subdued Demand: Symptoms and Remedies