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Gene Ambrocio

21 September 2021
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
29 October 2018
The article analyses recent developments in business investment for a large group of EU countries, using a broad set of analytical tools and data sources. We find that the assessment of whether or not investment is currently low varies across benchmarks and countries. At the euro area level and for most countries, the level of business investment is broadly in line with the level of overall activity. However rates of capital stock growth have slowed down since the crisis. The main cyclical determinants of investment developments in the euro area include foreign and domestic demand, uncertainty and financial conditions. Uncertainty seems to have played a negative role during the financial and sovereign debt crises; however, given its low levels more recently, it has not acted as a drag on business investment overall during the recovery. Credit constraints appear to have hindered investment during the twin crises, especially in stressed countries. Aside from cyclical developments, important secular factors – relating to demographics, the changing nature and location of production, and the business environment – have influenced investment. Another factor that may have amplified the decline in private investment, particularly in countries that were hit hardest by the sovereign debt crisis, is the low level of public investment. This is because when public investment enhances the productivity of the private sector, there may be positive spillovers from the former to the latter, including across countries. Finally, intra-sector capital misallocation, measured as the within-sector dispersion across firms in the marginal revenue product of capital, has been increasing in Europe since 2002, which may in turn have exerted a significant drag on total factor productivity dynamics, and hence on aggregate output growth.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
D24 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Production, Cost, Capital, Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity, Capacity
D61 : Microeconomics→Welfare Economics→Allocative Efficiency, Cost?Benefit Analysis