Monetary-fiscal Policy Interaction and Fiscal Inflation: A Tale of Three Countries
European Economic Review,
We study the impact of the interaction between fiscal and monetary policy on the low-frequency relationship between the fiscal stance and inflation using cross-country data from 1965 to 1999. In a first step, we contrast the monetary–fiscal narrative for Germany, the U.S., and Italy with evidence obtained from simple regression models and a time-varying VAR. We find that the low-frequency relationship between the fiscal stance and inflation is low during periods of an independent central bank and responsible fiscal policy and more pronounced in times of non-responsible fiscal policy and accommodative monetary authorities. In a second step, we use an estimated DSGE model to interpret the low-frequency measure structurally and to illustrate the mechanisms through which fiscal actions affect inflation in the long run. The findings from the DSGE model suggest that switches in the monetary–fiscal policy interaction and accompanying variations in the propagation of structural shocks can well account for changes in the low-frequency relationship between the fiscal stance and inflation.
09.06.2016 • 22/2016
The German Economy Benefits from Strong Domestic Demand
In 2016, the moderate upswing of the German economy continues. Incomes grow due to the steady expansion in employment, and the fall in energy prices has propped up the purchasing power of private households. As a consequence, private consumption expands healthily; investment in housing is additionally stimulated by very low interest rates. Exports, however, expand only moderately, as the world economy is rather weak. All in all, the IWH forecasts the German GDP to expand by 1.8% in this year and by 1.6% in 2017.
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Upturn Remains Moderate — Economic Policy Lacks Growth Orientation
The German economy is experiencing a moderate upturn. Gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.6 per cent this year and by 1.5 per cent in 2017. The upturn will be driven by private consumption, which will benefit from continued employment growth, sizeable increases in wage and transfer income, and also purchasing power gains thanks to lower energy prices. Fiscal policy will also be expansively oriented, partly due to rising costs related to refugee immigration. Public budgets will still post significant surpluses in the forecasting period, however. Failing to use this room for manoeuvre to promote growth, as seen in recent years, is not a sustainable path. In view of the continuous slack in the euro area economy, the monetary policy stance is considered to be appropriate. Should it become obvious in the course of this year that production does not return to normal capacity and that the inflation rate does not move towards two per cent, further measures to stimulate growth might become necessary. The scope for further monetary policy measures has been widely exhausted, though. A further economic stabilization could only be achieved through a combination of expansionary fiscal and monetary policy. This could severely damage the credibility of monetary policy, however.
On the Low-frequency Relationship Between Public Deficits and Inflation
Journal of Applied Econometrics,
We estimate the low-frequency relationship between fiscal deficits and inflation and pay special attention to its potential time variation by estimating a time-varying vector autoregression model for US data from 1900 to 2011. We find the strongest relationship neither in times of crisis nor in times of high public deficits, but from the mid 1960s up to 1980. Employing a structural decomposition of the low-frequency relationship and further narrative evidence, we interpret our results such that the low-frequency relationship between fiscal deficits and inflation is strongly related to the conduct of monetary policy and its interaction with fiscal policy after World War II.
14.04.2016 • 15/2016
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2016: Upturn Remains Moderate – Economic Policy Lacks Growth Orientation
Economic research institutes now estimate that gross domestic product will increase by 1.6 percent in 2016, instead of 1.8 percent as forecast in autumn 2015.
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Mere Criticism of the ECB is no Solution
Criticism in Germany of the ECB is counter-productive. Monetary policy must remain expansive so that it can at least begin to fulfil the ECB mandate. The preservation of its credibility also demands that. Instead of the ECB doing less, European policymakers must do more. They need to act more decisively to set Europe back upon a growth path.
[A shorter version was published under the title “Kritik an Draghi ist noch keine Lösung“ in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung of April 10, 2016].
Policymakers, including in Germany, can no longer shirk their responsibility for the current economic situation in large parts of Europe. That calls for growth-friendly fiscal policy, structural reforms to open up new markets and consolidation and restructuring of the financial sector. We in Germany, above all, must look in the mirror, because we need the majority of these reforms just as urgently as our European neighbours do.
A Market-based Indicator of Currency Risk: Evidence from American Depositary Receipts
IWH Discussion Papers,
We introduce a novel currency risk measure based on American Depositary Receipts(ADRs). Using a multifactor pricing model, we exploit ADR investors’ exposure to potential devaluation losses to derive an indicator of currency risk. Using weekly data for a sample of 831 ADRs located in 23 emerging markets over the 1994-2014 period, we find that a deterioration in the fiscal and current account balance, as well as higher inflation, increases currency risk. Interaction models reveal that these macroeconomic fundamentals drive currency risk, particularly in countries with managed exchange rates, low levels of foreign exchange reserves and a poor sovereign credit rating.
16.12.2015 • 45/2015
German Economy: Strong domestic demand compensates for weak exports
The upturn of the German economy is expected to gain further momentum as a consequence of strong domestic demand. Real gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.6% in 2016. Consumer prices are expected to rise by 0.9%. Unemployment is expected to rise slightly because it will take time to integrate refugees into the labour market.
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26.11.2015 • 43/2015
Political lendings of German Savings Banks
A recent paper of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) suggests that German local politicians take advantage of their influence on the credit decisions of German savings banks. “German savings banks on average increase the supply of commercial loans by €7.6 million in the year of a local election”, says IWH president Reint E. Gropp. Loans that the savings banks generate during election years also perform worse and lead to lower interest income. The results suggest that local politicians take advantage of savings banks to further their chances of re-election.
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