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Prevention and Correction of Macroeconomic Imbalances: the Excessive Imbalances Procedure




Macroeconomic imbalances can lead to economic crises. This is especially true in a monetary union due to the restrictions it imposes on the tools available to economic policymakers. The years leading up to the outbreak of the global economic crisis were characterized by divergent macroeconomic developments within the euro area, which meant that the impact of the crisis varied from Member State to Member State and that, subsequently, unexpected challenges have arisen for the single monetary policy and coordinated fiscal and economic policy. In order to prevent such developments in future, a procedure for preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances, analogous to the Stability and Growth Pact, was created within the framework of the European semester. The preventive arm of the procedure is designed to detect and analyze potential macroeconomic problems. If the procedure flags up “excessive” imbalances for a Member State, the corrective arm will come into effect, under which the relevant Member States will be required to submit plans for corrective measures. If Member States then fail to comply with the recommended corrective actions, sanctions may be imposed. The new procedure constitutes a considerable boost to economic policy coordination within the EU and the euro area. Nonetheless, it has yet to prove itself in practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Essl & Alfred Stiglbauer, 2011. "Prevention and Correction of Macroeconomic Imbalances: the Excessive Imbalances Procedure," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 99-113.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbmp:y:2011:i:4:b:6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christian Ragacs & Beate Resch & Klaus Vondra, 2011. "Austria’s Manufacturing Competitiveness," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 35-61.
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    Cited by:

    1. Manuela Moschella, 2014. "Monitoring Macroeconomic Imbalances: Is EU Surveillance More Effective than IMF Surveillance?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(6), pages 1273-1289, November.

    More about this item


    macroeconomic imbalances; competitiveness; fiscal policy; structural policy; European Union; euro area;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements


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