The challenge in estimating the output gap at present is that indicators of capacity pressure are simply not tallying.
Firms say in business confidence surveys they are totally flat out, yet they aren’t raising their prices. They say finding staff is their number one problem, yet the unemployment rate is only just under 5 per cent and wage growth is subdued.
It’s a conundrum facing central banks around the world as they grapple with the question of whether cyclical pressures will indeed see inflation rise, or whether secular forces such as technological innovation will win out.
Sharon Zollner is an Associate Director & Senior Economist, ANZ NZ