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Strategy review

21 September 2021
No. 280
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Abstract
From 2013 up to the launch of the ECB’s strategy review in January 2020, inflation in the euro area was low and over-predicted. This low inflation during the years 2013-19 can be attributed to a combination of interconnected factors. Cyclical developments account for a substantial share of the fall in underlying inflation, mainly in the first part of the low inflation period. Additionally, there is evidence that an underestimation of the amount of economic slack and less well-anchored longer-term inflation expectations, in combination with monetary policy in the euro area being constrained by the effective lower bound, have played an important role in the long period of subdued inflation. Ongoing disinflationary structural trends (such as globalisation, digitalisation and demographic factors) are likely to have had a dampening effect on inflation over the last few decades, but were in themselves not the main drivers of low inflation in the euro area from 2013 to 2019. However, as they could not have been easily offset by interest rate policy in an effective lower bound environment, they might also have contributed to the more subdued inflation dynamics in the euro area from 2013 to 2019.
JEL Code
C51 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Construction and Estimation
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
F62 : International Economics→Economic Impacts of Globalization→Macroeconomic Impacts
J11 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics→Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
J30 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→General
21 September 2021
No. 279
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Abstract
The existence of nominal rigidities and inflation differentials between countries offers two of the main rationales for an inflation buffer in a monetary union where monetary policy is oriented towards an area-wide inflation objective. Evidence accumulated since 2003 suggests that nominal rigidities remain a prevalent feature of the euro area, with some differences as regards prices and wages. Price setting may have become more flexible and there is no evidence for any especially strong downward rigidities in price setting. At the same time, persistent downward nominal wage rigidity (DWR) provides a strong argument for a positive inflation buffer to “grease the wheels” of the euro area economy – also in order to avoid the risk of macroeconomic adjustments being managed in terms of quantities (unemployment) rather than prices when DWR is binding and particularly when productivity growth is low. Inflation differentials across euro area countries have tended to be small but persistent. For inflation dispersion in the euro area, the across countries has been more important than across regions, confirming that an inflation buffer might be especially important in a monetary union of different countries. Overall, inflation differentials were due to the rise of economic and financial imbalances in the first decade of the euro and the subsequent need for adjustment. Balassa-Samuelson effects which were highlighted in the 2003 strategy review were only a minor factor. By and large, the ECB’s inflation objective seems to have provided a sufficient margin to prevent countries from having to live with prolonged periods of excessively low inflation rates in the period 1999-2019. There were some exceptions in the second decade of the euro (from 2009-2019), when inflation in the euro area was, overall, substantially lower than during the first decade.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
21 September 2021
No. 278
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Abstract
This paper summarises the work done by Eurosystem staff in the context of the Strategy Review Seminar on Monetary Policy Instruments. More specifically, it focuses on the efficacy, efficiency and potential side effects of the key monetary policy instruments employed by the European Central Bank since 2014. The following main findings emerge from the analysis. First, instruments have been effective in easing financing conditions and supporting economic growth, employment and inflation. Second, considering the effective lower bound on policy rates, a combination of instruments is generally more efficient than relying on a single tool. Third, side effects have been generally contained so far, but they are found to vary over time and need to be closely monitored on an ongoing basis. Fourth, the monetary policy toolkit needs to remain innovative, diversified, and flexible, i.e. reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains fit for purpose against the backdrop of evolving financial and macroeconomic conditions.
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
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E47 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
21 September 2021
No. 277
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Abstract
This paper discusses the role of economic and monetary analysis in the monetary policy strategy of the European Central Bank (ECB). Both areas of analysis have evolved since the 2003 strategy review. Economic analysis has assigned an increasingly relevant role to the Eurosystem and ECB staff macroeconomic projections in forming a view on the medium-term outlook for economic activity and inflation. Furthermore, its focus has strengthened with regard to structural trends in shaping key economic relationships. Similarly, monetary analysis has shifted in focus: while the 2003 review emphasised the information value of monetary dynamics for detecting risks to price stability over medium-term to longer-term horizons, the focus of monetary analysis has increasingly been redirected to the assessment of monetary policy transmission. This evolution has opened a gap between the formal description of the strategy following the 2003 review and the practice of economic and monetary analysis in informing the ECB’s policy deliberations. This paper concludes by presenting options for closing this gap and aligning the strategy formulation with the evolved role of economic and monetary analysis.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E47 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E51 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Money Supply, Credit, Money Multipliers
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
21 September 2021
No. 276
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Abstract
This paper offers an overview of the mandate of the European Central Bank (ECB), as defined by its objectives, the instruments available to achieve them and the constitutional framework that the ECB shall observe in pursuing them. The objectives include the primary objective of maintaining price stability and the secondary objective of supporting the general economic policies in the Union. The price stability objective enjoys primacy amongst the ECB objectives. The Treaties do not provide for a hierarchy of the “general economic policies” that the ECB shall support, although a number of criteria derived from primary law can help in guiding the ECB’s priorities in this respect. The ECB is also tasked with contributing to the “smooth conduct of policies pursued by the competent authorities relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and the stability of the financial system”. As for the instruments available, these include both measures that directly pursue the objectives and measures that are instrumental in achieving them. Finally, the other constitutional rules that set out the framework within which the ECB pursues its objectives include the principles of conferral, institutional balance, proportionality, equal treatment and non-discrimination, as well as the principle of an open market economy and the prohibition of monetary financing.
JEL Code
K23 : Law and Economics→Regulation and Business Law→Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
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
21 September 2021
No. 275
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Abstract
This report discusses the role of the European Union’s full employment objective in the conduct of the ECB’s monetary policy. It first reviews a range of indicators of full employment, highlights the heterogeneity of labour market outcomes within different groups in the population and across countries, and documents the flatness of the Phillips curve in the euro area. In this context, it is stressed that labour market structures and trend labour market outcomes are primarily determined by national economic policies. The report then recalls that, in many circumstances, inflation and employment move together and pursuing price stability is conducive to supporting employment. However, in response to economic shocks that give rise to a temporary trade-off between employment and inflation stabilisation, the ECB’s medium-term orientation in pursuing price stability is shown to provide flexibility to contribute to the achievement of the EU’s full employment objective. Regarding the conduct of monetary policy in a low interest rate environment, model-based simulations suggest that history-dependent policy approaches − which have been proposed to overcome lasting shortfalls of inflation due to the effective lower bound on nominal interest rates by a more persistent policy response to disinflationary shocks − can help to bring employment closer to full employment, even though their effectiveness depends on the strength of the postulated expectations channels. Finally, the importance of employment income and wealth inequality in the transmission of monetary policy strengthens the case for more persistent or forceful easing policies (in pursuit of price stability) when interest rates are constrained by their lower bound.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
21 September 2021
No. 274
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Abstract
This paper examines the importance of central bank communication in ensuring the effectiveness of monetary policy and in underpinning the credibility, accountability and legitimacy of independent central banks. It documents how communication has become a monetary policy tool in itself; one example of this being forward guidance, given its impact on inflation expectations, economic behaviour and inflation. The paper explains why and how consistent, clear and effective communication to expert and non-expert audiences is essential in an environment of an ever-increasing need by central banks to reach these audiences. Central banks must also meet the demand for more understandable information about policies and tools, while at the same time overcoming the challenge posed by the wider public’s rational inattention. Since the European Central Bank was established, the communications landscape has changed dramatically and continues to evolve. This paper outlines how better communication, including greater engagement with the wider public, could help boost people’s understanding of and trust in the Eurosystem.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
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
21 September 2021
No. 273
Details
Abstract
The last review of the ECB’s monetary policy strategy in 2003 followed a period of predominantly upside risks to price stability. Experience following the 2008 financial crisis has focused renewed attention on the question of how monetary and fiscal policy should best interact, in particular in an environment of structurally low interest rates and persistent downside risks to price stability. This debate has been further intensified by the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the euro area, the unique architecture of a monetary union consisting of sovereign Member States, with cross-country heterogeneities and weaknesses in its overall construction, poses important challenges. Against this background, this report revisits monetary-fiscal policy interactions in the euro area from a monetary policy perspective and with a focus on the ramifications for price stability and maintaining central bank independence and credibility. The report consists of three parts. The first chapter presents a conceptual framework for thinking about monetary-fiscal policy interactions, thereby setting the stage for a discussion of specifically euro area aspects and challenges in subsequent parts of the report. In particular, it reviews the main ingredients of the pre-global financial crisis consensus on monetary-fiscal policy interactions and addresses significant new insights and refinements which have gained prominence since 2003. In doing so, the chapter distinguishes between general conceptual aspects – i.e. those aspects that pertain to an environment characterised by a single central bank and a single fiscal authority and those aspects that pertain to an environment characterised by a single central bank and many fiscal authorities (a multi-country monetary union). ...
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
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
F45 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
21 September 2021
No. 272
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Abstract
Since the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) 2003 strategy review, the importance of macro-financial amplification channels for monetary policy has increasingly gained recognition. This paper takes stock of this evolution and discusses the desirability of further incremental enhancements in the role of financial stability considerations in the ECB’s monetary policy strategy. The paper starts with the premise that macroprudential policy, along with microprudential supervision, is the first line of defence against the build-up of financial imbalances. It also recognises that the pursuit of price stability through monetary policy, and of financial stability through macroprudential policy, are to a large extent complementary. Nevertheless, macroprudential policy may not be able to ensure financial stability independently of monetary policy, because of spillovers originating from the common transmission channels through which the two policies produce their effects. For example, a low interest rate environment can create incentives to engage in more risk-taking, or can adversely impact the profitability of financial intermediaries and hence their capacity to absorb shocks. The paper argues that the existence of such spillovers creates a conceptual case for monetary policy to take financial stability considerations into account. It then goes on to discuss what this conclusion might imply in practice for the ECB. One option would be to exploit the flexible length of the medium-term horizon over which price stability is to be achieved. Longer deviations from price stability could occasionally be tolerated, if they resulted in materially lower risks for financial stability and, ultimately, for future price stability. ...
JEL Code
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
21 September 2021
No. 271
Details
Abstract
This paper analyses the implications of climate change for the conduct of monetary policy in the euro area. It first investigates macroeconomic and financial risks stemming from climate change and from policies aimed at climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as the regulatory and fiscal effects of reducing carbon emissions. In this context, it assesses the need to adapt macroeconomic models and the Eurosystem/ECB staff economic projections underlying the monetary policy decisions. It further considers the implications of climate change for the conduct of monetary policy, in particular the implications for the transmission of monetary policy, the natural rate of interest and the correct identification of shocks. Model simulations using the ECB’s New Area-Wide Model (NAWM) illustrate how the interactions of climate change, financial and fiscal fragilities could significantly restrict the ability of monetary policy to respond to standard business cycle fluctuations. The paper concludes with an analysis of a set of potential monetary policy measures to address climate risks, insofar as they are in line with the ECB’s mandate.
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
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
21 September 2021
No. 270
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Abstract
The financing structure of the euro area economy has evolved since the global financial crisis with non-bank financial intermediation taking a more prominent role. This shift affects the transmission of monetary policy. Compared with banks, non-bank financial intermediaries are more responsive to monetary policy measures that influence longer-term interest rates, such as asset purchases. The increasing role of debt securities in the financing structure of firms also leads to a stronger transmission of long-rate shocks. At the same time, short-term policy rates remain an effective tool to steer economic outcomes in the euro area, which is still highly reliant on bank loans. Amid a low interest rate environment, the growth of market-based finance has been accompanied by increased credit, liquidity and duration risk in the non-bank sector. Interconnections in the financial system can amplify contagion and impair the smooth transmission of monetary policy in periods of market distress. The growing importance of non-bank financial intermediaries has implications for the functioning of financial market segments relevant for monetary policy transmission, in particular the money markets and the bond markets.
JEL Code
E4 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
G2 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services
G38 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Government Policy and Regulation
21 September 2021
No. 269
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Abstract
The ECB’s price stability mandate has been defined by the Treaty. But the Treaty has not spelled out what price stability precisely means. To make the mandate operational, the Governing Council has provided a quantitative definition in 1998 and a clarification in 2003. The landscape has changed notably compared to the time the strategy review was originally designed. At the time, the main concern of the Governing Council was to anchor inflation at low levels in face of the inflationary history of the previous decades. Over the last decade economic conditions have changed dramatically: the persistent low-inflation environment has created the concrete risk of de-anchoring of longer-term inflation expectations. Addressing low inflation is different from addressing high inflation. The ability of the ECB (and central banks globally) to provide the necessary accommodation to maintain price stability has been tested by the lower bound on nominal interest rates in the context of the secular decline in the equilibrium real interest rate. Against this backdrop, this report analyses: the ECB’s performance as measured against its formulation of price stability; whether it is possible to identify a preferred level of steady-state inflation on the basis of optimality considerations; advantages and disadvantages of formulating the objective in terms of a focal point or a range, or having both; whether the medium-term orientation of the ECB’s policy can serve as a mechanism to cater for other considerations; how to strengthen, in the presence of the lower bound, the ECB’s leverage on private-sector expectations for inflation and the ECB’s future policy actions so that expectations can act as ‘automatic stabilisers’ and work alongside the central bank.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
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
21 September 2021
No. 267
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Abstract
This paper provides an assessment of the macroeconomic models regularly used for forecasting and policy analysis in the Eurosystem. These include semi-structural, structural and time-series models covering specific jurisdictions and the euro area within a closed economy, small open economy, multi-country or global setting. Models are used as analytical frameworks for building baseline projections and for supporting the preparation of monetary policy decisions. The paper delivers four main contributions. First, it provides a survey of the macroeconomic modelling portfolios currently used or under development within the Eurosystem. Second, it explores the analytical gaps in the Eurosystem models and investigates the scope for further enhancement of the main projection and policy models, and the creation of new models. Third, it reviews current practices in model-based analysis for monetary policy preparation and forecasting and provides recommendations and suggestions for improvement. Finally, it reviews existing cooperation modalities on model development and proposes alternative sourcing and organisational strategies to remedy any knowledge or analytical gaps identified.
JEL Code
C5 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling
E47 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
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
F4 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
21 September 2021
No. 266
Details
Abstract
The digitalisation workstream report analyses the degree of digital adoption across the euro area and EU countries and the implications of digitalisation for measurement, productivity, labour markets and inflation, as well as more recent developments during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and their implications. Analysis of these key issues and variables is aimed at improving our understanding of the implications of digitalisation for monetary policy and its transmission. The degree of digital adoption differs across the euro area/EU, implying heterogeneous impacts, with most EU economies currently lagging behind the United States and Japan. Rising digitalisation has rendered price measurement more challenging, owing to, among other things, faster changes in products and product quality, but also new ways of price setting, e.g. dynamic or customised pricing, and services that were previously payable but are now “free”. Despite the spread of digital technologies, aggregate productivity growth has decreased in most advanced economies since the 1970s. However, it is likely that without the spread of digital technologies the productivity slowdown would have been even more pronounced, and the recent acceleration in digitalisation is likely to boost future productivity gains from digitalisation. Digitalisation has spurred greater automation, with temporary labour market disruptions, albeit unevenly across sectors. The long-run employment effects of digitalisation can be benign, but its effects on wages and labour share depend on the structure of the economy and its labour market institutions. The pandemic has accelerated the use of teleworking: roughly every third job in the euro area/EU is teleworkable, although there are differences across countries. ...
JEL Code
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
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
O33 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes
O57 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Comparative Studies of Countries
21 September 2021
No. 265
Details
Abstract
This paper – which takes into consideration overall experience with the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) as well as the improvements made to this measure of inflation since 2003 – finds that the HICP continues to fulfil the prerequisites for the index underlying the ECB’s definition of price stability. Nonetheless, there is scope for enhancing the HICP, especially by including owner-occupied housing (OOH) using the net acquisitions approach. Filling this long-standing gap is of utmost importance to increase the coverage and cross-country comparability of the HICP. In addition to integrating OOH into the HICP, further improvements would be welcome in harmonisation, especially regarding the treatment of product replacement and quality adjustment. Such measures may also help reduce the measurement bias that still exists in the HICP. Overall, a knowledge gap concerning the exact size of the measurement bias of the HICP remains, which calls for further research. More generally, the paper also finds that auxiliary inflation measures can play an important role in the ECB’s economic and monetary analyses. This applies not only to analytical series including OOH, but also to measures of underlying inflation or a cost of living index.
JEL Code
C43 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Index Numbers and Aggregation
C52 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
C82 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data, Data Access
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
21 September 2021
No. 264
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Abstract
This paper summarises the findings of the Eurosystem’s Expert Group on Inflation Expectations (EGIE), which was one of the 13 work streams conducting analysis that fed into the ECB’s monetary policy strategy review. The EGIE was tasked with (i) reviewing the nature and behaviour of inflation expectations, with a focus on the degree of anchoring, and (ii) exploring the role that measures of expectations can play in forecasting inflation. While it is households’ and firms’ inflation expectations that ultimately matter in the expectations channel, data limitations have meant that in practice the focus of analysis has been on surveys of professional forecasters and on market-based indicators. Regarding the anchoring of inflation expectations, this paper considers a number of metrics: the level of inflation expectations, the responsiveness of longer-term inflation expectations to shorter-term developments, and the degree of uncertainty. Different metrics can provide conflicting signals about the scale and timing of potential unanchoring, which underscores the importance of considering all of them. Overall, however, these metrics suggest that in the period since the global financial and European debt crises, longer-term inflation expectations in the euro area have become less well anchored. Regarding the role measures of inflation expectations can play in forecasting inflation, this paper finds that they are indicative for future inflationary developments. When it comes to their predictive power, both market-based and survey-based measures are found to be more accurate than statistical benchmarks, but do not systematically outperform each other. Beyond their role as standalone forecasts, inflation expectations bring forecast gains when included in forecasting models and can also inform scenario and risk analysis in projection exercises performed using structural models. ...
JEL Code
D84 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Expectations, Speculations
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
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
21 September 2021
No. 263
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Abstract
This paper assesses how globalisation has shaped the economic environment in which the ECB operates and discusses whether this warrants adjustments to the monetary policy strategy. The paper first looks at how trade and financial integration have evolved since the last strategy review in 2003. It then examines the effects of these developments on global productivity growth, the natural interest rate (r*), inflation trends and monetary transmission. While trade globalisation initially boosted productivity growth, this effect may be waning as trade integration slows and market contestability promotes a winner-takes-all environment. The impact of globalisation on r* has been ambiguous: downward pressures, fuelled by global demand for safe assets and an increase in the propensity to save against a background of rising inequality, are counteracted by upward pressures, from the boost to global productivity associated with greater trade integration. Headline inflation rates have become more synchronised globally, largely because commodity prices are increasingly determined by global factors. Meanwhile, core inflation rates show a lower degree of commonality. Globalisation has made a rather modest contribution to the synchronised fall in trend inflation across countries and contributed only moderately to the reduction in the responsiveness of inflation to changes in activity. Regarding monetary transmission, globalisation has made the role of the exchange rate more complex by introducing new mechanisms through which it affects financial conditions, real activity and price dynamics. Against the background of this discussion, the paper then examines the implications for the ECB’s monetary policy strategy. In doing so, it asks two questions. How is the ECB’s economic and monetary analysis affected by globalisation? And how does globalisation influence the choice of the ECB’s monetary policy objective and instruments? ...
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
F44 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Business Cycles
F62 : International Economics→Economic Impacts of Globalization→Macroeconomic Impacts
F65 : International Economics→Economic Impacts of Globalization→Finance