We find that inflation, output and the stance of monetary policy do not typically display unusual behavior ahead of asset price busts. By contrast, credit, shares of investment in GDP, current account deficits, and asset prices typically rise, providing useful, if not perfect, leading indicators of asset price busts. These patterns could also be observed in the build-up to the current crisis. Monetary policy was not the main, systematic cause of the current crisis. But, with inflation typically under control, central banks effectively accommodated these growing imbalances, raising the risk of damaging busts.
The IMF''s Consultative Group on Exchange Rate issues (CGER) has been conducting exchange rate assessments as part of the surveillance process since 1997. This paper evaluates CGER assessments from 1997 to 2006, by comparing these to subsequent movements in real effective exchange rates (REER). We find that CGER''s estimated misalignments have predictive power over future REER movements, especially over longer horizons and after changes in fundamentals are accounted for. But while CGER misalignments frequently predict the direction of currency movements correctly, misalignments have tended to be persistent, resulting in systematic errors-overprediction for undervalued currencies and underprediction for overvalued currencies.
The Turkish economy is typically characterized as having particularly high real interest rates. Fundamental considerations, such as high growth rates or high returns to capital, do not provide a satisfactory resolution of this puzzle. Instead, we find that two other factors- doubts about the sustainability of disinflation and the existence of a risk premium-have a significant impact on the level of real interest rates in Turkey. Importantly, fiscal policy variables are shown to affect both these factors, suggesting that a more credible and prudent fiscal policy can help reduce real interest rates in Turkey.
We argue that a stronger emphasis on macrofinancial risk could provide stabilization benefits. Simulations results suggest that strong monetary reactions to accelerator mechanisms that push up credit growth and asset prices could help macroeconomic stability. In addition, using a macroprudential instrument designed specifically to dampen credit market cycles would also be useful. But invariant and rigid policy responses raise the risk of policy errors that could lower, not raise, macroeconomic stability. Hence, discretion would be required.
This paper develops a simple procedure for incorporating market-based information into the construction of fan charts. Using the International Monetary Fund (IMF)''s global growth forecast as a working example, the paper goes through the theoretical and practical considerations of this new approach. The resulting spreadsheet, which implements the approach, is available upon request from the authors.
Recoveries from recessions associated with a financial crisis tend to be sluggish. In this paper, we present evidence that stressed credit conditions are an important factor constraining the pace of recovery. In particular, using industry-level data, we find that industries relying more on external finance grow more slowly than other industries during recoveries from recessions associated with financial crises. Additional tests, based on establishment size, on alternative definitions of financial crises, and on corporate-government interest rate spreads, support the findings. Moreover, for subsets of industries where financial frictions are more severe, we find much stronger differential growth effects.
This paper quantifies the economic impact of uncertainty shocks in the UK using data that span the recent Great Recession. We find that uncertainty shocks have a significant impact on economic activity in the UK, depressing industrial production and GDP. The peak impact is felt fairly quickly at around 6-12 months after the shock, and becomes statistically negligible after 18 months. Interestingly, the impact of uncertainty shocks on industrial production in the UK is strikingly similar to that of the US both in terms of the shape and magnitude of the response. However, unemployment in the UK is less affected by uncertainty shocks. Finally, we find that uncertainty shocks can account for about a quarter of the decline in industrial production during the Great Recession.
Is it beneficial for a country's currency to be used internationally? And, if so, can we quantify the benefit? Since the emergence of the euro, there has been great interest in the consequences of a transfer of the US dollar's premier international role to the euro. Building on recent advancements in the literature on search models of money, this paper presents a novel model-based approach towards assessing the welfare benefits associated with the international use of a country's currency. The welfare gain for the Euro area in having the euro internationally used ranges from 1.7% to 2.1% of consumption.