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Luís Fonseca

7 November 2023
Economic Bulletin Issue 7, 2023
This box highlights the recent inversion of the euro area and US yield curves and considers its information content for the future state of these economies. The slope of the yield curve is currently negative and the most steeply inverted it has been in decades for both the euro area and the United States. Among other factors, a negative slope may reflect investors’ expectations that the macroeconomic outlook will worsen, inflation will decline and longer-term yields will be lower as growth slows. In the past, the slope has typically had statistical predictive power for economic downturns. Recent estimates based on this indicator point to a high probability of a recession in the next 12 months in both jurisdictions. However, estimated recession probabilities are considerably lower when the models include information from additional financial indicators and oil prices, and when they account for the yield impact of the balance sheet policies of central banks. The analysis therefore highlights that a simple translation of the current historically negative yield curve slopes into a high recession probability would be an incomplete assessment.
JEL Code
G1 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets
E4 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates
C5 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling