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Thomas Westermann

21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - 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
8 April 2011
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 125
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Abstract
This paper uses micro data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) to generate structural information for the euro area on the incidence of household indebtedness and the debt service burden. It breaks down incidence by characteristics such as income, age and employment status, all features that can be cross-referenced in the light of theories such as the life-cycle hypothesis. Overall, income appears to be the dominant feature determining the debt status of a household. The paper also examines the evolution of indebtedness and debt service burdens over time and compares the situation in the euro area with that in the United States. In general, the results suggest that the macroeconomic implications of indebtedness for monetary transmission and financial stability are not associated with the mean but with the tails of the distribution.
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
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
28 August 2006
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 51
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Abstract
This paper examines the macroeconomic consequences of future demographic trends for economic growth, financial markets and public finances. It shows that in the absence of reforms and responses by economic agents, the currently projected demographic trends imply a decline in average real GDP growth and a severe burden in terms of pay-as-you-go pension and health care systems. Population ageing will change the financial landscape, with a potentially larger role for financial intermediaries and asset prices. All this points to a need to closely monitor demographic change also from a monetary policy perspective. While population projections are surrounded by considerable uncertainty and the effects of demographic change tend to be drawn out, the magnitude of the potential effects calls for an early recognition of this issue. This paper provides some input to the examination of possible policy issues.
JEL Code
J11 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics→Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
O47 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Measurement of Economic Growth, Aggregate Productivity, Cross-Country Output Convergence
28 January 2005
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 22
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Abstract
For monetary policy purposes it is useful to apply a concept of potential output growth that looks through the fluctuations inherent in most model based estimates. Growth accounting can be a useful tool in this respect, given its focus on average developments in real GDP growth and supply side factors over medium to longer-term horizons. This paper describes the assumptions and measurement issues underlying the growth accounting framework and applies it to euro area data for the period 1980 to 2003. It shows that growth in measured total factor productivity has been the single most important contributor to real GDP growth over this period. However, the contribution to growth from this factor declined between the 1980s and the 1990s, while that from labour increased. Looking forward, the projected demographic developments imply a reduction in average real GDP growth in the coming decades unless compensation is achieved from other supply-side factors.
JEL Code
E22 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Capital, Investment, Capacity
O47 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Measurement of Economic Growth, Aggregate Productivity, Cross-Country Output Convergence