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Economic Fluctuations in Central and Eastern Europe - the Facts

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  • Péter Benczúr

    ()
    (Magyar Nemzeti Bank)

  • Attila Rátfai

    ()
    (Central European University, Budapest)

Abstract

We carry out a detailed analysis of quarterly frequency dynamics in macroeconomic aggregates in twelve countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The facts we document include the variability and persistence in and the co-movement among output, and other major real and nominal variables. We find that consumption is highly volatile and government spending is procyclical. Gross fixed capital formation is highly volatile. Net exports are countercyclical. Imports are procyclical, much more than exports. Exports are most procyclical and persistent in open countries. Labor market variables are all highly volatile. Employment is lagging, and often procyclical. Real wages are dominantly procyclical. Productivity is dominantly procyclical and coincidental. Private credit is procyclical and dominantly lagging the cycle. The CPI is countercyclical, and is weakly leading or coincidental. The cyclicality of inflation is unclear, but its relative volatility is low. Net capital flows are mostly leading and procyclical and exhibit low persistence. Nominal interest rates are in general smooth and persistent. The nominal exchange rate is more persistent than the real one. Overall, we find that fluctuations in CEE countries are larger than in industrial countries, and are of similar size than in other emerging economies. This is particularly true about private consumption. The co-movement of variables, however, shows a large degree of similarity. A notable exception is government spending: unlike in industrial economies, it is rather procyclical in transition economies. The findings also indicate that Croatia and the accession group show broadly similar cyclical behavior to industrial countries. The most frequent country outliers are Bulgaria, Romania and Russia, especially in labor market, price and exchange rate variables. Excluding these countries from the sample makes many of the observed patterns in cyclical dynamics quite homogenous.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary) in its series MNB Working Papers with number 2005/02.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mnb:wpaper:2005/02

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Keywords: Business Cycle Facts; Central and Eastern Europe;

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  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela & Vegh, Carlos, 2004. "When it rains, it pours: Procyclical capital flows and macroeconomic policies," MPRA Paper 13883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Zsolt Darvas & György Szapáry, 2004. "Business Cycle Synchronisation in the Enlarged EU: Comovements in the New and Old Members," MNB Working Papers 2004/1, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
  3. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Ercolani, Valerio, 2002. "Cyclical and Structural Deficits on the Road to Accession: Fiscal Rules for an Enlarged European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3672, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Bergman, U. Michael & Bordo, Michael D. & Jonung, Lars, 1998. "Historical Evidence on Business Cycles: The International Experience," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 255, Stockholm School of Economics.
  5. Michael Artis & Massimiliano Marcellino & Tommaso Proietti, 2004. "Characterising the Business Cycle for Accession Countries," Econometrics 0403006, EconWPA.
  6. Jean-Pierre DANTHINE & John B. DONALDSON, 1991. "Methodological and Empirical Issues in Real Business Cycle Theory," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9102, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  7. Raphael Bergoeing & Raimundo Soto, 2002. "Testing Real Business Cycles Models in an Emerging Economy," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 159, Central Bank of Chile.
  8. Ahmed, Shaghil & Ickes, Barry W. & Ping Wang & Byung Sam Yoo, 1993. "International Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 335-59, June.
  9. Michael A. Kouparitsas, 1997. "North-South terms of trade: an empirical investigation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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Cited by:
  1. Tanja Broz, 2008. "The Introduction of the Euro in Central and Eastern European Countries - Is it Economically Justifiable?," Working Papers 0801, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
  2. Maria Neycheva, 2005. "The Impact of the Fisc on Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Bulgarian Economy," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 3, pages 42-59.
  3. Sandrine Levasseur, 2008. "Updating empirical evidence on business cycles synchronization between CEECs and euro area : how important is the recent period," Sciences Po publications 2008-11, Sciences Po.
  4. Macchiarelli, Corrado, 2013. "Similar GDP-inflation cycles. An application to CEE countries and the euro area," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 124-144.
  5. Sandrine Levasseur, 2008. "Updating empirical evidence on business cycles synchronization between CEECs and the euro area : How important is the recent period," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-11, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  6. Alina Barnett, 2007. "The effects of EU shocks on the newly acceded countries," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 389-404.
  7. Ciprian Chirilă & Viorica Chirilă, 2012. "Unemployment And Business Cycles In Central And Eastern European Countries," Anale. Seria Stiinte Economice. Timisoara, Faculty of Economics, Tibiscus University in Timisoara, vol. 0, pages 486-493, November.
  8. Caraiani, Petre, 2012. "Stylized facts of business cycles in a transition economy in time and frequency," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2163-2173.
  9. Slavov, Slavi T., 2008. "Measuring and modeling the effects of G-3 exchange rate fluctuations on small open economies: A natural experiment," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 253-273, September.
  10. Gächter, Martin & Riedl , Aleksandra & Ritzberger-Grünwald, Doris, 2013. "Business cycle convergence or decoupling? Economic adjustment in CESEE during the crisis," BOFIT Discussion Papers 3/2013, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.

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