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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Following a deep recession in 2020 and further contraction in 2021Q1, the euro area economy recovered rapidly in the second and third quarters thanks to high vaccination levels, increasing household and business adaptability to the virus, and continued forceful policy support. Looking ahead, while supply chain disruptions, elevated energy prices, and resurgences of Covid-19 cases—including those related to the Omicron variant—are likely to pose near-term headwinds to growth, the recovery is set to continue in 2022 as the impact of the pandemic on economic activity continues to weaken over time and supply-side constraints ease. Medium-term output losses relative to pre-crisis trends will vary significantly across countries and sectors as will the extent of labor market scarring. Price pressures are building up as production bottlenecks are set to persist for a while. However, inflation—despite increasing significantly in recent months due to transitory factors—is projected to moderate during 2022 and remain below the ECB’s inflation target over the medium term. Uncertainty surrounding the outlook remains high and largely related to pandemic dynamics and legacies, including induced behavioral and preference changes.
André Geis and Ms. Oana Luca
Soaring real estate prices and valuations despite the economic downturn brought by the pandemic have focussed the attention of Dutch policymakers on potential macro-financial and socio-economic implications. In this context, our paper reviews the salient features of Dutch commercial and residential real estate markets with an eye to identify pertinent risks and challenges. While we find that the Dutch authorities have made considerable strides to strengthen real estate-related policies in recent years, some, and partly long-standing, issues remain, requiring additional efforts to bolster financial stability, address housing supply shortages and manage secular changes affecting property markets.
Khalid ElFayoumi, Ms. Izabela Karpowicz, Ms. Jenny Lee, Ms. Marina Marinkov, Ms. Aiko Mineshima, Jorge Salas, Andreas Tudyka, and Ms. Andrea Schaechter
Many European economies have faced pressure from rental housing affordability that has widened social and economic divergence. While significant country and regional differences exist, this departmental paper finds that in many advanced European economies a large and rising share of low-income renters, the young, and those living in cities is overburdened. In several locations, middle-income groups also increasingly face rental affordability issues.
Giancarlo Corsetti, Joao B. Duarte, and Samuel Mann
We study the transmission of monetary shocks across euro-area countries using a dynamic factor model and high-frequency identification. We develop a methodology to assess the degree of heterogeneity, which we find to be low in financial variables and output, but significant in consumption, consumer prices, and variables related to local housing and labor markets. Building a small open economy model featuring a housing sector and calibrating it to Spain, we show that varying the share of adjustable-rate mortgages and loan-to-value ratios explains up to one-third of the cross-country heterogeneity in the responses of output and private consumption.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note on nonfinancial corporations and households vulnerabilities on France analyzes the structure of nonfinancial corporate financing in the French economy, potential vulnerabilities of the corporate sector, and their possible channels of transmission through interconnections with the financial system. The objective of this paper is to document the evolution of French corporate debt since the global financial crisis, analyze the riskiness of this debt, the quality of allocation of this debt, and uncover potential heterogeneity across sectors and firms which may have implications at the macroeconomic level. This paper also complements existing studies by the Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques, the Haut Conseil de Stabilité Financière and the Banque de France by undertaking a cross-country comparative analysis. Empirical analysis suggests that corporate debt may be allocated efficiently across publicly listed companies, but the picture is less clear among nonpublicly listed firms.
Ms. Nan Geng
House prices in many advanced economies have risen substantially in recent decades. But experience indicates that housing prices can diverge from their long-run equilibrium or sustainable levels, potentially followed by adjustments that impact macroeconomic and financial stability. Therefore there is a need to monitor house prices and assess whether they are sustainable. This paper focuses on fundamentals expected to drive long run trends in house prices, including institutional and structural factors. The scale of potential valuation gaps is gauged on the basis of a cross-country panel analysis of house prices in 20 OECD countries.
Mr. Thierry Tressel and Ms. Yuanyan S Zhang
The crisis has highlighted the importance of setting up macro-prudential oversight frameworks, having effective macro-prudential instruments in place to be called upon to mitigate growing financial imbalances as needed. We develop a new approach using the euro area Bank Lending Survey to assess the effectiveness of macro-prudential policies in containing credit growth and house price appreciation in mortgage markets. We find instruments targeting the cost of bank capital most effective in slowing down mortgage credit growth, and that the impact is transmitted mainly through price margins, the same banking channel as monetary policy. Limits on loan-to-value ratios are also effective, especially when monetary policy is excessively loose.