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Rethinking prices and markets underlying price-competitiveness indicators


  • Alberto Felettigh

    () (Banca d’Italia)

  • Claire Giordano

    () (Banca d’Italia)


A comprehensive analysis of price and cost competitiveness warrants an assessment of a range of alternately deflated nominal effective exchange rates. Here, we focus solely on the price-competitiveness indicator currently published by the Bank of Italy (Felettigh et al., 2015), which is based on the producer prices of domestically-sold manufactures, and we refine its measurement. First, we update the data sources for the producer price index. Revisions mainly refer to non-euro area countries, yet also affect relative prices and therefore the price-competitiveness trends of the four main euro-area economies. These countries have performed better according to the revised indicators, in particular since 2010. Second, we present a novel three-market view of price-competitiveness indicators by splitting destination markets. The overall indicator encompassing competitive pressures on both the import and the export side can indeed be broken down into three components: the domestic market, where local producers are rivalled by foreign competitors with their import penetration; euro-area markets, where all countries compete; and non-euro-area markets, where, similarly, all countries compete. Whereas France and Germany have displayed similar price-competitiveness developments in both the euro and non-euro area markets over the entire period since 1999, Italy and Spain have performed better in the non-euro area than in the euro-area markets. Competitiveness in the domestic market and that in non-euro area markets are the main, equally important, drivers of overall developments since 1999 in Italy and in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Felettigh & Claire Giordano, 2018. "Rethinking prices and markets underlying price-competitiveness indicators," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 447, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_447_18

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Menzie Chinn, 2006. "A Primer on Real Effective Exchange Rates: Determinants, Overvaluation, Trade Flows and Competitive Devaluation," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 115-143, January.
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    More about this item


    price-competitiveness indicators; real effective exchange rates; producer prices; destination markets; import competition;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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