Exchange Rate Regimes and Sustainable Parities for CEECs in the Run-up to EMU Membership
The real exchange rates of ceecs have been appreciating for the last decade, especially when measured by consumer prices. We argue that the size of this appreciation is linked to the exchange rate regime, the pegged currencies being more prone to this phenomenon in the long run. We also show that this appreciation is not necessarily linked to overvaluation. First, it is largely reduced when using a proxy of tradable prices as deflator, according to the “Balassa-Samuelson effect”. Second, we use a large sample of emerging countries to calculate “normal” levels of real exchange rates taking into account the “Balassa effect” and show that ceecs do not suffer from systematic overvaluation according to this norm. We then calculate Fundamental Equilibrium Exchange Rates, using a model of the foreign trade of five ceecs (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Estonia) and their main partners based on nigem. We show that these ceec currencies only have very small misalignment. This is due to the fact that the response of their foreign trade to small changes in the exchange rate is especially high, because of the high degree of openness and large export price elasticities.
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