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Derry O'Brien

21 June 2022
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 4, 2022
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Abstract
In this box, we present a new measure of domestic inflation for the euro area that takes into account the import intensity of HICP items. For this new indicator, the import intensities of HICP items are derived using information from national accounts and input-output tables. The HICP items with a relatively low import intensity are subsequently aggregated to a “Low IMport Intensity” (LIMI) inflation indicator. Differently to the literature, an empirical assessment is used to determine an optimal threshold for these import intensities. While the ECB’s inflation target is formulated in terms of headline inflation, the concept of domestic inflation is of analytical relevance to monetary policy, as it features prominently in the monetary policy transmission mechanism. Common indicators of domestic inflation, such as the GDP deflator or core inflation, either include elements that are not directly related to consumer prices or exclude volatile components that may nonetheless be driven by domestic factors. The LIMI inflation indicator can complement the information provided by these other indicators in an assessment of the underlying inflationary pressures.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
J11 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics→Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
J21 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
17 February 2022
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 1, 2022
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Abstract
This box assesses the role of migration in weak labour force developments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The labour force in the euro area remains well below the dynamics expected before the outbreak of the pandemic. This gap reflects both a weaker than expected growth in the working age population and a lower than expected labour force participation rate. Subdued net immigration may have contributed to these developments, with some foreign workers resettling in their home countries. It is likely that several factors have weighed on inward migration flows, including weaker employment prospects, travel restrictions and pervasive uncertainty induced by the pandemic. The share of foreign workers in the euro area may gradually converge towards the levels expected pre-pandemic, but risks are overall tilted to the downside.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
J11 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics→Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
J21 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
11 November 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 7, 2021
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Abstract
This box assesses labour supply developments during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic labour supply has fallen sharply. It has partially recovered, although it remains substantially below pre-pandemic levels. While labour force was initially affected in a similar way across the largest euro area countries, there was also some heterogeneity across countries and demographic groups. When taking the pre-pandemic trends into account, workers with a low and medium level of education as well as older workers explain the largest part of the current gap to the pre-pandemic trends. A full recovery of labour force participation to the rising pre-pandemic trend will likely be gradual.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
J11 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics→Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
J21 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 265
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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
1 February 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 1, 2021
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Abstract
The response to the COVID-19 outbreak with lockdowns implies both a shutdown of some markets and a severe economic downturn. Price developments have been influenced in a complex manner by different demand and supply factors, which limits the applicability of past empirical regularities in the interpretation of recent aggregate inflation developments. This article looks at this complexity and applies a component-by-component approach to analysing HICP inflation that takes into account the circumstances prevailing in individual markets. The article analyses how sub-components of euro area inflation have behaved since the onset of the pandemic. It then elaborates on the relative importance of demand and supply factors driving the disaggregated price developments and the implications for headline inflation. The article concludes with the lessons that can be learnt from this bottom-up analysis, an approach that is particularly suited to current circumstances.
JEL Code
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
27 June 2018
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 4, 2018
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Abstract
Exchange rate developments can play an important role in shaping the outlook for HICP inflation. As a change in the exchange rate can affect consumer prices with considerable delays and as the impact can depend on the economic situation at the time, assessing the exchange rate pass-through requires constant monitoring. Between April 2017 and May 2018, the exchange rate of the euro appreciated by about 8% in nominal effective terms and by about 10% against the US dollar. This box briefly recalls how exchange rate changes are transmitted to consumer prices in the euro area. The box also looks at indicators at different stages of the pricing chain to gauge the degree of the pass-through at the current juncture. The focus is on the monitoring of the pass-through to exchange rate-sensitive components of the HICP excluding energy and food.
JEL Code
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
25 June 2018
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 4, 2018
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Abstract
Headline inflation can be noisy, blurring the signal on the medium-term inflationary pressure relevant for monetary policy. To help distinguish signal from noise in the data, central banks monitor measures of underlying inflation. As there are many ways of measuring underlying inflation, it is important to understand the properties of the various indicators and what factors may account for any divergence between them. This article describes in detail the measures of underlying inflation typically used at the ECB and evaluates them against a set of empirical criteria. Our results suggest that no one measure of underlying inflation is superior in all situations as the performance of the indicators varies over time. In practice, each indicator comes with merits and shortcomings, which calls for monitoring the full range of measures of underlying inflation.
JEL Code
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
16 June 2010
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 113
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Abstract
This report aims to analyse euro area energy markets and the impact of energy price changes on the macroeconomy from a monetary policy perspective. The core task of the report is to analyse the impact of energy price developments on output and consumer prices. Nevertheless, understanding the link between energy price fluctuations, inflationary pressures and the role of monetary policy in reacting to such pressure requires a deeper look at the structure of the economy. Energy prices have presented a challenge for the Eurosystem, as the volatility of the energy component of consumer prices has been high since the creation of EMU. At the same time, a look back into the past may not necessarily be very informative for gauging the likely impact of energy price changes on overall inflation in the future. For instance, the reaction of HICP inflation to energy price fluctuations seems to have been more muted during the past decade than in earlier periods such as the 1970s.
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
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
10 April 2006
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 44
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Abstract
This paper analyses the degree of competition in the euro area services sector and its effects on labour productivity and relative prices in that sector over the period 1980-2003. The importance of the euro area services sector has significantly increased over time; it now accounts for around 70% of the euro area's total nominal value added and employment. Labour productivity growth across the euro area services industries appears to be characterised by a high degree of diversity and the level of services inflation is on average higher than aggregate inflation. Investigating several proxies of market competition for the non-financial business services, the paper finds that limited competition in services tends to hamper labour productivity growth in the services sector. Moreover, results tend to suggest that measures aimed at increasing services market competition may have a dampening impact on relative price changes in some services sectors and thus temporarily on aggregate inflation.
JEL Code
E : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics