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Current account adjustment in industrialized countries

  • Caroline L. Freund

This paper examines the dynamics of current account adjustment among industrialized countries. We identify twenty-five episodes in which a large sustained improvement in the current account occurred between 1980 and 1997. We find that a typical current account reversal begins when the current account deficit is about 5 percent of GDP, that it is associated with slowing income growth and a 10-20 percent real exchange rate depreciation. Real export growth, declining investment, and an eventual leveling off in both the net international investment position and the budget deficit-GDP ratio are also likely to be part of the adjustment. These results suggest that current account reversals in industrialized countries are largely a function of the business cycle.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 692.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:692
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  1. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Razin, Assaf, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hali J. Edison, 2000. "Do indicators of financial crises work? an evaluation of an early warning system," International Finance Discussion Papers 675, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Catherine L. Mann, 1999. "Is the U.S. Trade Deficit Sustainable?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 47, March.
  4. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: an empirical treatment," International Finance Discussion Papers 534, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Hamid Faruqee & Guy Debelle, 1996. "What Determines the Current Account? a Cross-Sectional and Panel Approach," IMF Working Papers 96/58, International Monetary Fund.
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