The IWH signals approach: the present potential for a financial crisis in selected Central and East European countries and Turkey
The steep increase of oil prices, general threats rooting from Iran’s nuclear program, and doubts about the future policy of important central banks recently caused more uncertainties of investors on international financial markets. This explains the higher volatility and the fall of indices on stock markets including those of some Central and East European countries. International investors could respond with adjustments of their portfolio and trigger off a financial crisis. On this background, the article studies the potential for a financial crises in the region mentioned. The analytical tool is the IWH signals approach. The study concludes that the risk of the outbreak of a financial crisis within the next 18 months is rather unrealistic in most countries. A stable economic policy, high real growth rates, a financial system already robust compared to earlier times of transition, and appropriate exchange rate arrangements protect the countries against speculative attacks and portfolio adjustments. When the composite indicator shows deterioration like in the Baltic countries, it turned out to be negligible. For the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the composite indicator even improved. A closer look to individual indicators reveals still some problems in the banking sectors of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, however, without out major impact on the composite indicator. This general assessment does not apply to Romania, and, in particular, to Turkey. The composite indicator signals a significant increase of the risk potential for the next 18 months in both countries. There is a considerable need for sound policy action.