Conditional Macroeconomic Survey Forecasts: Revisions and Errors
Journal of International Money and Finance,
Using data from the European Central Bank's Survey of Professional Forecasters and ECB/Eurosystem staff projections, we analyze the role of ex-ante conditioning variables for macroeconomic forecasts. In particular, we test to which extent the updating and ex-post performance of predictions for inflation, real GDP growth and unemployment are related to beliefs about future oil prices, exchange rates, interest rates and wage growth. While oil price and exchange rate predictions are updated more frequently than macroeconomic forecasts, the opposite is true for interest rate and wage growth expectations. Beliefs about future inflation are closely associated with oil price expectations, whereas expected interest rates are related to predictions of output growth and unemployment. Exchange rate predictions also matter for macroeconomic forecasts, albeit less so than the other variables. With regard to forecast errors, wage growth and GDP growth closely comove, but only during the period when interest rates are at the effective zero lower bound.
22.06.2023 • 16/2023
Revival in service sectors, but industrial activity remains weak for the time being
After the recession during winter, the German economy will expand at a moderate pace in the coming quarters and despite higher interest rates, as private consumption will pick up again with slowly declining inflation and increased wage momentum. In its summer forecast, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product to decline by 0.3% in 2023, while growth of 1.7% is forecast for the coming year.
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Household Indebtedness, Financial Frictions and the Transmission of Monetary Policy to Consumption: Evidence from China
Emerging Markets Review,
This paper studies the impact of household indebtedness on the transmission of monetary policy to consumption using the Chinese household-level survey data. We employ a panel smooth transition regression model to investigate the non-linear role of indebtedness. We find that housing-related indebtedness weakens the monetary policy transmission, and this effect is non-linear as there is a much larger counteraction of consumption in response to monetary policy shocks when household indebtedness increases from a low level rather than from a high level. Moreover, the weakened monetary policy transmission from indebtedness is stronger in urban households than in rural households. This can be explained by the investment good characteristic of real estate in China.
05.04.2023 • 9/2023
East German economy has come through energy crisis well so far – Implications of the Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2023 and new data for the East German economy
In 2022, the East German economy expanded by 3.0%, significantly stronger than the economy in West Germany (1.5%). The background is a more robust development of labour and retirement incomes. For 2023, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts a higher GDP growth rate of 1% in East Germany than in Germany as a whole (0.3%). The unemployment rate is expected to stagnate, with 6.8% in 2023 and 6.7% in the following year.
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The Effect of Bank Failures on Small Business Loans and Income Inequality
Journal of Banking and Finance,
Using variation in the timing and location of branches of failed banks we analyze its effect on income inequality. Employing a difference-in-differences specification we find that bank failures increased the GINI by 0.3 units (or 0.7%). We show that the rise in inequality is due to a decrease in the incomes of the poor that outpaces declines of the rest. We further show that individuals with lower levels of education exhibit a relatively greater decline in real wages and weekly hours worked. Exploring channels of transmission, we find income inequality is explained by a general decline in small business loans. This in turn reduces net new small business formation and their job creation capacity, a sector that hires a substantial share of low-income earners.
20.12.2022 • 31/2022
No deep recession despite energy crisis and rise in interest rates
High energy prices and deteriorating financial conditions are weighing on the German economy. However, the period of weakness over the winter is likely to be moderate, partly because the energy price brakes are supporting private incomes. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that due to the recovery from the pandemic in the first three quarters, gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have increased by 1.8% in 2022. Due to high energy prices, however, GDP will slightly decline in the winter months and stagnate on average in 2023. Inflation will fall from 7.8% in 2022 to 6.5% in 2023.
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30.11.2022 • 28/2022
Stricter rules for banks can relieve real estate markets
Exuberant price levels in the German real estate market could further exacerbate an economic crisis. Fiscal instruments exert too little influence to contain this danger, shows a study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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European Real Estate Markets During the Pandemic: Is COVID-19 also a Case for House Price Concerns?
IWH Policy Notes,
We use a new database on European real estate purchase and rental prices – the IWH European Real Estate Index – to document the relationship between staggered COVID-19 dynamics and real estate prices in 14 EU countries between January 2020 and December 2021. For most countries, we find no statistically significant response of monthly purchase and rental prices due to an increase of regional COVID-19 cases. For the UK we find that more COVID-19 cases depressed both purchase and rental prices significantly, but the economic magnitude of effects was mild during this sample period. In contrast, rents in Italy increased in response to hiking COVID-19 cases, illustrating the importance to consider heterogeneous crisis patterns across the EU when designing policies. Overall, COVID-19 dynamics did not affect real estate values significantly during the pandemic, thereby mitigating potential financial stability concerns via a mortgage lending channel at the time.
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The Political Economy of the European Banking Union
The Political Economy of the European Banking Union ...