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Bond Spreads and Economic Activity in Eight European Economies

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  • Michael Bleaney
  • Paul Mizen
  • Veronica Veleanu

Abstract

This paper provides a new insight into the relationship between financial market tightness and real activity using a unique new database extracted from Bloomberg to construct a credit spread index from 500 corporate bonds issued in eight European countries. We find that European bond spread measures have a significant negative relationship with four real activity measures at horizons of one quarter to two years ahead. The relationship is robust to inclusion of measures of monetary policy tightness, other leading indicator variables and factors extracted from a large macro dataset, as well as alternative measures of the bond spreads. These results provide strong support for models previously only evaluated on US data. We find that a sub-set of northern European countries have similar sensitivity of real GDP to bond spreads, but others have higher spreads and greater sensitivity to these spreads, which reveals a diverse response in Europe to financial market tightness.
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  • Michael Bleaney & Paul Mizen & Veronica Veleanu, 2016. "Bond Spreads and Economic Activity in Eight European Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(598), pages 2257-2291, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:598:p:2257-2291
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.2016.126.issue-598
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    2. Okimoto, Tatsuyoshi & Takaoka, Sumiko, 2022. "The credit spread curve distribution and economic fluctuations in Japan," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    3. Kiss, Tamás & Nguyen, Hoang & Österholm, Pär, 2022. "The Relation between the High-Yield Bond Spread and the Unemployment Rate in the Euro Area," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(PA).
    4. Schock, Matthias, 2014. "Do Eurozone yield spreads predict recessions?," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-532, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    5. Chen, Guojin & Liu, Yanzhen & Zhang, Yu, 2021. "Systemic risk measures and distribution forecasting of macroeconomic shocks," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 178-196.
    6. Okimoto, Tatsuyoshi & Takaoka, Sumiko, 2020. "No-arbitrage determinants of credit spread curves under the unconventional monetary policy regime in Japan," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    7. Deschamps, Bruno & Ioannidis, Christos & Ka, Kook, 2020. "High-frequency credit spread information and macroeconomic forecast revision," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 358-372.
    8. Altavilla, Carlo & Pariès, Matthieu Darracq & Nicoletti, Giulio, 2019. "Loan supply, credit markets and the euro area financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    9. Santis, Roberto A. De, 2018. "Unobservable systematic risk, economic activity and stock market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 51-69.
    10. Schock, Matthias, 2015. "Predicting Economic Activity via Eurozone Yield Spreads: Impact of Credit Risk," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-542, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    11. Xiaoqing Fu & Matthew C. Li & Philip Molyneux, 2021. "Credit default swap spreads: market conditions, firm performance, and the impact of the 2007–2009 financial crisis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 60(5), pages 2203-2225, May.

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