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INTERVIEW

Interview with the Financial Times

Chief Economist Philip R. Lane talks to the newspaper about the current economic outlook and monetary policy.

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SPEECH 28 May 2024

The benefits and costs of asset purchases

Asset purchases can be a powerful tool when financial markets are in turmoil, says Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel at the BoJ-IMES conference. Outside these periods central banks need to carefully assess whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

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SPEECH 26 May 2024

The green transition and the role of the ECB

We are committed to supporting the green transition within our mandate, Executive Board member Piero Cipollone says. But we cannot do it alone: stakeholders need to unite their efforts. In turn, we can benefit from them in the pursuit of our objectives.

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QUIZ 29 May 2024

Quiz: How the ECB makes money

Ever wondered where the ECB gets its money from? Do we receive funding from the European Union? And what happens if we suffer losses? Put your knowledge to the test and try our latest Kahoot! quiz on how the ECB makes money!

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28 May 2024
Speech by Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the 2024 BOJ-IMES Conference on “Price Dynamics and Monetary Policy Challenges: Lessons Learned and Going Forward”
Annexes
28 May 2024
27 May 2024
Speech by Philip R. Lane, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Institute of International and European Affairs, Dublin
26 May 2024
Speech by Piero Cipollone, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Festival dell’ Economia di Trento
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14 May 2024
Speech by Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the conference “Setting the course for competitiveness and growth” at the German Chancellery, Berlin
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Annexes
14 May 2024
10 May 2024
Slides by Piero Cipollone, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at a meeting of Central Bank Governors of the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA) in Madrid
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27 May 2024
Interview with Philip R. Lane, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted by Martin Arnold on 24 May 2024
24 May 2024
Interview with Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted by Steffen Clement on 16 May 2024
English
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23 May 2024
Interview with Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, conducted by Dietmar Mascher and Alexander Zens
English
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17 May 2024
Interview with Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted by Shogo Akagawa and Takerou Minami on 13 May 2024
6 May 2024
Interview with Philip R. Lane, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted on 30 April 2024 by Miquel Roig, Javier Jorrín and Óscar Giménez and published on 6 May 2024
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23 May 2024
Negotiated wage growth in the euro area increased in the first quarter of 2024. This post on The ECB Blog illustrates how the ECB wage tracker can help to put latest developments in negotiated wage growth into perspective.
Details
JEL Code
E20 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→General
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
22 May 2024
Why do central banks mostly give their guidance for future monetary policy in qualitative terms rather than providing a numerical formula? The ECB Blog takes a look through the lens of the “ABCs” of the ECB’s qualitative reaction function.
15 May 2024
Despite rising interest rates, more consumers are applying for loans. This demand comes mainly from households with lower income. The ECB Blog takes a closer look into credit applications and how they affect banks’ credit standards and credit issuance to households.
Details
JEL Code
E51 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Money Supply, Credit, Money Multipliers
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
6 May 2024
Surprisingly strong employment growth in an environment of weak economic activity has recently led to declining labour productivity in the euro area. The ECB Blog discusses causes and prospects for a cyclical recovery in productivity growth.
Details
JEL Code
J21 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
J24 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Human Capital, Skills, Occupational Choice, Labor Productivity
J22 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Time Allocation and Labor Supply
J23 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Demand
2 May 2024
Some banks reduce balance sheet items around reporting dates. Such “window dressing” camouflages the true risks of a bank, impairs markets as well as bank resilience and supervision. The ECB Blog looks at how regulators and supervisors are taking action.
Details
JEL Code
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
29 May 2024
LETTERS TO MEPS
27 May 2024
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2943
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Abstract
Amid the growing financial vulnerabilities posed by climate change, we investigate macroprudential capital buffers to mitigate systemic risks and increase the resilience of the banking sector. Leveraging granular data and state-of-the-art stress testing methods, we quantify potential bank losses attributed to climate-related transition risks. Focusing on short-term transition scenarios, we document a significant variance among banks in their risk exposure, with the most exposed institutions being those characterized by lower excess capital. Subsequently, we introduce a methodological framework for tailoring bank-specific buffer requirements to cover these losses, offering macroprudential authorities a practical method for calibrating climate-related macroprudential capital buffers, complementing microprudential policies. While we focus our application on transition risks, the framework can be extended to capture all climate risks in general. The study demonstrates the potential of macroprudential capital buffers to mitigate potential climate-related losses and contributes to the understanding of the appropriate prudential policy response to these challenges.
JEL Code
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
27 May 2024
RESEARCH BULLETIN - No. 119
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Abstract
Households’ willingness to take on risks has clear implications for the transmission of financial shocks, both in the long run and over the business cycle. This article introduces a newly published research dataset from the ECB’s Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) and summarises insights these data provide into household risk-taking. In particular, it examines how an increase in wealth affects a household’s decision on whether or not to invest in the stock market. The evidence suggests that all but the wealthiest households have a substantial aversion to investing in the stock market. Other reasons for avoiding stocks likely include information processing costs, as well as beliefs about stock prices, lack of trust, inertia and other behavioural biases.
JEL Code
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
G51 : Financial Economics
24 May 2024
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 349
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Abstract
This paper reviews the main arguments underpinning the reform of the EU’s fiscal framework, which has culminated in the adoption by the EU legislators of a revised set of rules for the European economic governance including the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). It takes a chronological approach by first discussing the Commission’s legislative proposals of April 2023 against the pre-reform set of fiscal rules, before assessing the final political agreement which has materialised in the revised set of rules. In view of the multi-dimensional reform outcome, it is argued that the success of the reform of the fiscal framework will ultimately depend on its future implementation by the Commission and the Council. Combining the reform of the fiscal rules with better fiscal coordination through the establishment of a permanent euro area fiscal capacity was not proposed in the context of this reform. This paper argues that completing the architecture of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is an important missing element and should remain a policy priority.
JEL Code
H6 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
H11 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H50 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→General
21 May 2024
SURVEY OF MONETARY ANALYSTS
17 May 2024
T2S ANNUAL REPORT
17 May 2024
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2942
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Abstract
While global supply chains have recently gained attention in the context of the Covid-related crisis as well as the war in Ukraine, their role in transmitting and amplifying climate-related physical risks across countries has received surprisingly little attention. To address this shortcoming, this paper for the first time combines country-level GDP losses due to climate-related physical risks with a global Input-Output model. More specifically, climate-related GDP-at-risk data are used to quantify the potential direct impact of physical risks on GDP at the country or regional level. This direct impact on GDP is then used to shock a global Input-Output (IO) model so that the propagation of the initial shock to country-sectors around the world becomes observable. The findings suggest that direct GDP loss estimates can severely underestimate the ultimate impact of physical risk because trade can lead to losses that are up to 30 times higher in the EA than what looking at the direct impacts would suggest. However, trade can also mitigate losses if substitutability across country-sectors is possible. Future research should (i) develop more granular, holistic, and forward-looking global physical risk data and (ii) examine more closely the role of both partially substitutable outputs, and critical outputs that are less substitutable or not substitutable at all, such as in the food sector.
JEL Code
E01 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General→Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth, Environmental Accounts
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
Q56 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Environment and Development, Environment and Trade, Sustainability, Environmental Accounts and Accounting, Environmental Equity, Population Growth
F18 : International Economics→Trade→Trade and Environment
16 May 2024
LEGAL ACT
16 May 2024
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOX
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2024
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Abstract
Recent stress episodes have shown how leverage in the non-bank financial intermediation (NBFI) sector can be a source of systemic risk and amplify stress in the wider financial system. Prominent examples of leverage-related risk in the NBFI sector include the role of leveraged hedge funds in the US Treasury market in March 2020, liability-driven investment funds in UK gilt markets in September 2022 and the failure of Archegos Capital Management in March 2021. In response to these events, policymakers around the world have launched a range of initiatives to contain risks from leverage in the NBFI sector more broadly. A key takeaway from these recent experiences and policy initiatives is that no single tool can be uniformly applied to address risks stemming from NBFI leverage. An effective policy response requires a broad range of tools to be made available, which should be appropriately tailored to the specific circumstances and can serve as complements to each other. Given the significant cross-border and cross-sector dimension of these risks, close coordination and cooperation between various authorities is essential, ensuring that risks are addressed from a system-wide perspective.
JEL Code
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
16 May 2024
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOX
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2024
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Abstract
Recent episodes of liquidity stress highlight the need to monitor funds’ liquidity preparedness to meet margin calls on derivatives. This box proposes four indicators of fund-level liquidity preparedness to meet margin calls to identify potential vulnerabilities that may require higher cash buffers and/or more diversified high-quality liquid assets (HQLA). Both the stock of initial margin posted and the flow of initial and variation margin are examined, offering complementary insights. The first set of indicators considers the ratios between the volumes of margin stock or flow over cash holdings, while the second set replaces cash with HQLA. The results highlight how cash alone may not be enough to cover margin calls, thus emphasising the importance of funds relying on diverse and reliable sources of liquidity and collateral. Moreover, existing vulnerabilities in the fund sector can lead to procyclical behaviours, amplifying market-wide stress and spreading to other market participants.
JEL Code
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
16 May 2024
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOX
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2024
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Abstract
Around 20% of euro area bank funding is provided by the non-bank financial intermediation (NBFI) sector, mainly via market-based instruments such as bonds and repurchase agreements. The reliance on NBFI funding varies in line with banks’ business models, with some banks obtaining about a third of their funds from the NBFI sector. NBFI entities also display a strong preference for some types of funding instruments, suggesting limited substitutability across sectors and financing sources. Focusing on the repo market, we test funding substitution by euro area banks across sectors when facing a reduction in repo funds. Banks can only replace about 25% of the outflows after repo funding falls. When the outflow comes from an investment fund, banks face an even larger reduction in repo funds. These results and some recent episodes of liquidity turmoil in the NBFI sector suggest that more widespread shocks could affect the ability of banks to secure funding.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
16 May 2024
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOX
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2024
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Abstract
Basis trades are arbitrage strategies which exploit mispricing between the spot price and the futures price of a given security. They improve market functioning but are also subject to funding and liquidity risks, especially when excessively leveraged. Hedge funds have built up leveraged exposures in the US Treasury market, giving rise to financial stability concerns. While risks are partly mitigated by already elevated margin requirements in the futures market, disruptions in the repo market could still force some entities to unwind their basis trades. Given the role of US Treasury bonds as global risk-free assets, dislocations resulting from widespread unwinding of basis trades could spill over into other jurisdictions and asset classes. Furthermore, a build-up of hedge fund exposures has also been observed in the euro area government bond market, but the size of basis trade activity seems contained.
JEL Code
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
G13 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Contingent Pricing, Futures Pricing
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
16 May 2024
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOX
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2024
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Abstract
Implied equity market volatility has been low in recent quarters, in both absolute and relative terms, despite tighter monetary policy, rising geopolitical tensions and a balance of risks to economic growth tilted to the downside. This box discusses several factors that may have contributed to the low levels of implied equity market volatility. It describes how progress in bringing inflation down without a deep economic contraction has supported investor optimism and highlights how increasingly common short volatility strategies may also have suppressed implied equity market volatility. The box then examines the divergence of implied equity market volatility from the implied volatility in interest rate markets and discusses possible implications for financial stability. Elevated implied interest rate market volatility could point to downside macro-financial risks that seem not fully priced in by equity investors. Subdued implied equity market volatility – despite broader uncertainties – might suggest an underestimation of risks in equity markets and excessive risk-taking. Consequently, adverse economic surprises or geopolitical shocks could lead to significant market corrections. Large exposures in volatility instruments could, in turn, increase the likelihood of a disorderly correction.
JEL Code
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
16 May 2024
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - BOX
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2024
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Abstract
The rapid increase in interest rates observed over the last few years could weaken the ability of firms to service and roll over their debt and, consequently, worsen the outlook for bank asset quality. This box combines firm-level balance sheet data with loan-level data to assess the joint impact of resilient post-pandemic profitability and higher financing costs on the debt servicing capacity of euro area firms. The interest burdens of euro area firms are estimated to have increased only slightly, as higher revenues largely offset their higher interest payments. The impact of higher debt service costs has been disproportionately strong in the real estate sector, which has faced weakened demand, as well as in countries where floating-rate lending is prevalent. Some vulnerable firms may benefit from refinancing in a more favourable environment if market rates fall as expected. Banks should recognise credit distress promptly and offer viable solutions to firms which struggle to service their debt. However, even among firms with low interest coverage ratios, the majority of bank loans have not been restructured and remain performing..
JEL Code
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
G33 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Bankruptcy, Liquidation
16 May 2024
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2024
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Abstract
Euro area private markets have grown significantly in recent years, providing alternative funding sources for companies and diversification benefits for investors. While private markets are currently small relative to public markets and bank lending in the euro area, continued strong growth, financial innovation and opaqueness in private markets could contribute to financial stability risks. Adverse economic shocks could result in rising defaults, valuation corrections and losses for private funds and their investors. Additionally, such shocks may be exacerbated by multiple layers of leverage at company, fund and investor level, or by liquidity mismatches for some open-ended private funds. For banks, risks could arise from lending exposures to these markets, as well as from rising competition with private funds, which could incentivise lower underwriting and credit standards.
JEL Code
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G23 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Non-bank Financial Institutions, Financial Instruments, Institutional Investors
G24 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Investment Banking, Venture Capital, Brokerage, Ratings and Ratings Agencies
G30 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→General
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
16 May 2024
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW
15 May 2024
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2941
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Abstract
This paper proposes an operational approach to stress testing, allowing one to assess the banking sector’s vulnerability in multiple plausible macro-financial scenarios. The approach helps identify macro-financial risk factors of particular relevance for the banking system and individual banks and searches for scenarios that could push them towards their worst outcomes. We demonstrate this concept using a macroprudential stress testing model for the euro area. By doing so, we show how multiple-scenario stress testing can complement single-scenario stress tests, aid in scenario design, and evaluate risks in the banking system. We also show how stress tests and scenarios can be optimized to accommodate different mandates and instruments of supervisory and macroprudential agencies.
JEL Code
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
15 May 2024
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2024
Details
Abstract
The emergence of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools represents a significant technological leap forward, with the potential to have a substantial impact on the financial system. Conceptually, AI brings both benefits and risks to the financial system. Practically, the overall impact will depend on how the challenges related to data, model development and deployment are addressed – both at the level of financial institutions and for the financial system as a whole. If new AI tools are used widely in the financial system and AI suppliers are concentrated, operational risk (including cyber risk), market concentration and too-big-to-fail externalities may increase. Furthermore, widespread AI adoption may harbour the potential for increased herding behaviour and market correlation. Should concerns arise that cannot be tackled by the current regulatory framework, targeted initiatives may need to be considered.
JEL Code
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
G41 : Financial Economics
15 May 2024
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 348
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Abstract
This paper provides an overview of stress-testing methodologies in Europe, with a focus on the advancements made by the European Central Bank’s Financial Stability Committee Working Group on Stress Testing (WGST). Over a four-year period, the WGST played a pivotal role in refining stress-testing practices, promoting collaboration among central banks and supervisory authorities and addressing challenges in the evolving financial landscape. The paper discusses the development and application of various stress-testing models, including top-down models, macro-micro models and system-wide models. It highlights the integration of new datasets and model validation efforts as well as the expanded use of stress-testing methodologies in risk and policy evaluation and in communication. The collaborative efforts of the WGST have demystified stress-testing methodologies and fostered trust among stakeholders. The paper concludes by outlining the future agenda for continued improvements in stress-testing practices.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
C58 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Financial Econometrics
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
14 May 2024
DISCUSSION PAPER SERIES - No. 24
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Abstract
This paper discusses the recent wave of research that has emphasized the importance of measures of consumers’ inflation expectations. In contrast to other measures of expected inflation, such as for experts or financial market participants, consumers’ inflation expectations capture the broader distribution of societal beliefs about inflation. This research has revealed very significant deviations from traditional assumptions about rationality in consumers’ expectations formation. However, households do act on their beliefs about inflation, though in heterogeneous ways that can depart from the predictions of conventional economic models. Recent euro area experiences highlight the importance of tracking the degree of anchoring in consumers’ inflation expectations in a way that considers their inherent complexity, heterogeneity, and subjectivity. On average, consumers’ medium and longer-term expectations deviate noticeably in levels from central bank targets and, in contrast with expert expectations, often co-move more closely with shorter-term inflation news. By stepping up their engagement with the wider public, central banks may be able to influence expectations by building up greater knowledge and trust and thereby support more effective monetary transmission. Communication efforts need to be persistent because central banks must compete with many other demands on consumers’ attention.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation

Interest rates

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