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Guzmán González-Torres

11 January 2024
Economic Bulletin Issue 8, 2023
Last updated on 30 January 2024
According to the estimates of major international institutions, the euro area output gap remained negative or very close to zero in the aftermath of the pandemic and at the onset of the war in Ukraine, despite the rise in euro area core inflation. This contrasts with most available historical data, which show a positive association of a rise in inflation above its medium-run average with an increase in the output gap. This may reflect the fact that demand shocks have historically had a larger effect on the business cycle relative to supply shocks. However, the shocks that hit the euro area after 2020 – disruptions in supply chains and significant increases in input prices – predominantly came from the supply side of the economy. This box explores how accounting for the role of temporary supply shocks in determining potential output can restore the positive association of the output gap with high inflation after 2020. First, the box discusses the concept of potential output as used by most international organisations. It then looks at indicators that could capture recent exceptional demand and supply conditions. Lastly, using information on these indicators, the box proposes complementary slack measures that better reflect inflationary pressures in times of temporary supply shocks.
JEL Code
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
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies