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Abstract

Following the onset of the global financial crisis (2008) we witness a strengthening of the correlation between crude oil prices and medium-term inflation expectations. Using the first principal component of commodity prices as a measure for global aggregate demand, we decompose oil prices into a global demand factor and idiosyncratic factors that include supply side effects and weather conditions. The decomposition of oil prices allows us to show that since the crisis, global five-year breakeven inflation rates react quite strongly to global aggregate demand conditions embedded in oil prices. One explanation for this finding is that in recent years monetary authorities put greater emphasis on macro-prudential issues. Alternatively, it may be that market participants perceive inflation targeting as either less aggressive when inflation deviates below target or less effective around the effective lower bound.

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