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More Than A Feeling: Confidence, Uncertainty, And Macroeconomic Fluctuations

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  • Laura Nowzohour
  • Livio Stracca

Abstract

Economists, observers, and policy‐makers often emphasize the role of sentiment as a potential driver of the business cycle. In this paper, we provide three contributions to this debate. First, we give an overview of the recent literature on the nexus between sentiment (considering both confidence and uncertainty) and economic activity. Second, we review existing empirical measures of sentiment, in particular consumer confidence, stock market volatility (SMV) and Economic Policy Uncertainty (EPU), on monthly data for 27 countries, 1985–2016. Third, we identify some new stylized facts based on international evidence. While different measures are surprisingly lowly correlated on average in each country, they are typically highly positively correlated across countries, suggesting the existence of a global factor or sizeable international spillovers of sentiment. Consumer confidence has the closest co‐movement with economic and financial variables, and most of the correlations are contemporaneous or forward‐looking, consistent with the view that economic sentiment is indeed a driver of activity.

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  • Laura Nowzohour & Livio Stracca, 2020. "More Than A Feeling: Confidence, Uncertainty, And Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 691-726, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:34:y:2020:i:4:p:691-726
    DOI: 10.1111/joes.12354
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    3. Daniela Fantozzi & Alessio Muscarnera, 2021. "A News-based Policy Index for Italy: Expectations and Fiscal Policy," CEIS Research Paper 509, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 11 Mar 2021.
    4. Julius Loermann, 2018. "The Impact of CHF/EUR Exchange Rate Uncertainty on Swiss Exports to the Eurozone: Evidence from a Threshold VAR," FIW Working Paper series 189, FIW, revised Feb 2019.
    5. Gianni La Cava, 2021. "Smells Like Animal Spirits: The Effect of Corporate Sentiment on Investment," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2021-11, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    6. Seohyun Lee & Rickard Nyman, 2019. "Tracking Uncertainty through the Relative Sentiment Shift Series," Working Papers 2019-12, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    7. Daragh Clancy & Lorenzo Ricci, 2019. "Loss aversion, economic sentiments and international consumption smoothing," Working Papers 35, European Stability Mechanism.
    8. Aneta M. Klopocka & Rumiana Gorska, 2021. "Forecasting Household Saving Rate with Consumer Confidence Indicator and its Components: Panel Data Analysis of 14 European Countries," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3), pages 874-898.
    9. Julius Loermann, 2021. "The impact of CHF/EUR exchange rate uncertainty on Swiss exports to the Eurozone: evidence from a threshold VAR," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 60(3), pages 1363-1385, March.
    10. R. G. Alcoforado & W. Bernardino & A. D. Eg'idio dos Reis & J. A. C. Santos, 2021. "Modelling risk for commodities in Brazil: An application to live cattle spot and futures prices," Papers 2107.07556, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E71 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on the Macro Economy
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G41 - Financial Economics - - Behavioral Finance - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making in Financial Markets

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