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The Euro Changeover in the Slovak Republic: Implications for Inflation and Interest Rates

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  • Felix Hüfner
  • Isabell Koske

Abstract

In January 2009, the Slovak Republic will adopt the euro and become the 16th member of the euro area. This paper investigates the implications of euro adoption in the Slovak Republic for inflation and interest rates with an attempt to quantify their likely size as well as their consequences for the general public. The empirical analysis – which makes use of the experience of the first-wave euro area countries – suggests that the cash changeover will most likely be associated with a moderate increase in consumer prices, estimated at around 0.3%. Policy measures to reduce this effect include public information campaigns, the conversion of publicly administered prices with the exact conversion rate and the reduction of administrative obstacles to increase supply. The minor purchasing power losses associated with this price increase will not be evenly distributed across the population with higher income households and families with children expected to be harder hit than others. Even though the exchange rate vis-à-vis the euro area will be irrevocably fixed, past appreciations of the koruna are still likely to pass-through to some downward pressure on consumer prices, with the cumulative effect estimated to amount to around 1.5% up to mid-2009. In the longer run, the Balassa-Samuelson effect and other factors affecting catch-up economies may raise the Slovak inflation rate above the euro area level. As capital markets have already fully priced in euro membership, no immediate effect on short- and long-term interest rates in the wholesale markets is to be expected for January 2009. In the longer run, euro adoption can be expected to foster financial integration, thereby leading to a convergence of Slovak retail interest rates towards euro area levels. This reduction in retail interest rates will benefit the general public with mortgage borrowers likely to reap the largest benefits. A potential risk of low real interest rates is the emergence of a boom-bust cycle; prudent fiscal policy and further structural reforms, including enhanced competition, would help to counter any such developments. L'adoption de l'euro par la République slovaque : les implications pour l'inflation et les taux d'intérêt En janvier 2009, la République slovaque adoptera l'euro et deviendra le 16ème membre de la zone euro. Ce document examine les implications de l'adoption de l'euro dans la République slovaque pour l'inflation et les taux d'intérêt avec une tentative d'évaluer quantitativement leur taille probable aussi bien que leurs conséquences pour la population. L'analyse empirique – qui se sert de l'expérience des pays de la zone euro de la première vague – suggère que le changement des liquidités soit très probablement associé à une augmentation modérée des prix à la consommation, estimée à peu près à 0.3 %. Les mesures politiques pour réduire cet effet incluent des campagnes publiques d'information, la conversion des prix publiquement administrés avec le taux de conversion exact et la réduction d'obstacles administratifs pour augmenter l’offre. Les pertes de pouvoir d'achat mineures associées à cette augmentation des prix ne seront pas également distribuées à travers la population; les ménages aux revenus plus élevés et les familles avec des enfants pourraient être frappés plus durement que les autres. Bien que le taux de change vis-à-vis de la zone euro soit irrévocablement fixé, les appréciations passées de la couronne slovaque pourraient encore se répercuter sur les prix à la consommation; l'effet cumulatif des effets retardés est évalué à environ 1½ pour cent jusqu'au milieu de 2009. À plus long terme, l'effet Balassa-Samuelson et d'autres facteurs affectant des économies en rattrapage peuvent accroître l'inflation slovaque au-dessus du niveau de la zone euro. Comme les marchés financiers ont déjà entièrement tenu compte de l'adhésion de l'euro, aucun effet immédiat sur les taux d'intérêt de grande clientèle à court terme ou à long terme n’est attendu pour janvier 2009. À plus long terme, on peut s'attendre à ce que l'adoption de l'euro favorise l'intégration financière, menant ainsi à une convergence des taux d'intérêt aux particuliers vers les niveaux de la zone euro. Cette réduction de taux d'intérêt aux particuliers profitera au grand public avec des emprunteurs hypothécaires récoltant probablement les plus grands avantages. Un risque potentiel lié aux taux d'intérêt réels bas est l'apparition d’une phase d’essor suivie d’une récession ; une politique fiscale prudente et des nouvelles réformes structurelles, y compris l’amélioration de la compétitivité, aideraient à résister à de tels développements.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/240631807010
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 632.

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Date of creation: 12 Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:632-en

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Keywords: Slovak Republic; inflation; interest rate; euro changeover; adoption de l’euro; République slovaque; taux d'intérêt; inflation;

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  1. Gaiotti, Eugenio & Lippi, Francesco, 2005. "Pricing Behaviour and the Introduction of the Euro: Evidence from a Panel of Restaurants," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 4893, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Manfred Fluch & Helmut Stix, 2005. "Perceived Inflation in Austria – Extent, Explanations, Effects," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 22–47.
  3. Martin Cincibuch & Jiri Podpiera, 2004. "Beyond Balassa - Samuelson: Real Appreciation in Tradables in Transition Countries," Working Papers, Czech National Bank, Research Department 2004/09, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  4. Ehrmann, Michael, 2006. "Rational inattention, inflation developments and perceptions after the euro cash changeover," Working Paper Series, European Central Bank 0588, European Central Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Jarko Fidrmuc & Andreas Wörgötter, 2013. "Slovakia: The Consequences of Joining the Euro Aea before the Crisis for a Small Catching-up Economy," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 14(1), pages 57-63, 05.
  2. Fidrmuc, Jarko & Klein, Caroline & Price, Robert & Wörgötter, Andreas, 2013. "Slovakia: A Catching Up Euro Area Member In and Out of the Crisis," IZA Policy Papers, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) 55, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Adela Socol, 2012. "Concerns Regarding To Successful Adoption Of The Euro In Romania," Revista Tinerilor Economisti (The Young Economists Journal), University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 1(18), pages 166-173, April.
  4. repec:diw:diwfin:diwfin05030 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Georgy Ganev, 2009. "Costs and Benefits of Euro Adoption in Bulgaria," Working Paper / FINESS, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research 5.3, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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