Are Financial Spreads Useful Indicators of Future Inflation and Output Growth in EU Countries?
This paper seeks to address the policy issue of the usefulness of financial spreads as indicators of future inflation and output growth in the countries of the European Union, placing a particular focus on out-of-sample forecasting performance. Such analysis is of considerable relevance to monetary authorities, given the breakdown of the money/income relation in a number of countries and following increased emphasis of domestic monetary policy on control of inflation following the broadening of the ERM bands. The results confirm that for some countries, financial spread variables do contain some information about future output growth and inflation, with the yield curve and the reverse yield gap performing best. However, the relatively poor out-of-sample forecasting performance and/or parameter instability suggests that the need for caution in using spread variables for forecasting in EU countries. Only a small number of spreads contain information, and improve forecasting in a manner which is stable over time.
Volume (Year): 12 (1997)
Issue (Month): 6 (Nov.-Dec.)
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