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A U.S. Financial Conditions Index; Putting Credit Where Credit is Due

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  • Andrew J Swiston

Abstract

This paper uses vector autoregressions and impulse-response functions to construct a U.S. financial conditions index (FCI). Credit availability—proxied by survey results on lending standards—is an important driver of the business cycle, accounting for over 20 percent of the typical contribution of financial factors to growth. A net tightening in lending standards of 20 percentage points reduces economic activity by ¾ percent after one year and 1¼ percent after two years. Much of the impact of monetary policy on the economy also works through its effects on credit supply, which is evidence supporting the existence of a credit channel of monetary policy. Shocks to corporate bond yields, equity prices, and real exchange rates also contribute to fluctuations in the FCI. This FCI is an accurate predictor of real GDP growth, anticipating turning points in activity with a lead time of six to nine months. 15B

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew J Swiston, 2008. "A U.S. Financial Conditions Index; Putting Credit Where Credit is Due," IMF Working Papers 08/161, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/161
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gertler, Mark & Lown, Cara S, 1999. "The Information in the High-Yield Bond Spread for the Business Cycle: Evidence and Some Implications," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 132-150, Autumn.
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    5. Gambacorta, Leonardo & Mistrulli, Paolo Emilio, 2004. "Does bank capital affect lending behavior?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 436-457, October.
    6. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 27-48, Fall.
    7. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    8. Tamim Bayoumi & Ola Melander, 2008. "Credit Matters; Empirical Evidence on U.S. Macro-Financial Linkages," IMF Working Papers 08/169, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Ashoka Mody & Mark P. Taylor, 2003. "The High-Yield Spread as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity: Evidence of a Financial Accelerator for the United States," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(3), pages 1-3.
    10. Strongin, Steven, 1995. "The identification of monetary policy disturbances explaining the liquidity puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 463-497, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Angelopoulou, Eleni & Balfoussia, Hiona & Gibson, Heather D., 2014. "Building a financial conditions index for the euro area and selected euro area countries: What does it tell us about the crisis?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 392-403.
    2. de Bondt, Gabe & Maddaloni, Angela & Peydró, José-Luis & Scopel, Silvia, 2010. "The euro area Bank Lending Survey matters: empirical evidence for credit and output growth," Working Paper Series 1160, European Central Bank.
    3. Muhamed Zulkhibri Abdul Majid, 2012. "Measuring monetary conditions in a small open economy: the case of Malaysia," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(3), pages 218-231, July.
    4. repec:eee:inteco:v:150:y:2017:i:c:p:36-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Christophe Blot & Sabine Le Bayon & Matthieu Lemoine & Sandrine Levasseur, 2009. "De la crise financière à la crise économique. Une analyse comparative France-États-Unis," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 255-281.
    6. A. Hakan Kara & Pinar Ozlu & Deren Unalmis, 2012. "Financial Conditions Indices for the Turkish Economy," CBT Research Notes in Economics 1231, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
    7. Hakan Kara & Pinar Ozlu & Deren Unalmis, 2015. "Turkiye icin Finansal Kosullar Endeksi," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 15(3), pages 41-73.
    8. Rangan Gupta & Jun Ma & Marian Risse & Mark E. Wohar, 2017. "Common Business Cycles and Volatilities in US States and MSAs: The Role of Economic Uncertainty," Working Papers 201766, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    9. Diogo Batista da SIlva & António Cerqueira & Elísio Brandão, 2017. "Earnings Management Dynamics in Portuguese Listed Firms," FEP Working Papers 587, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    10. repec:agr:journl:v:3(612):y:2017:i:3(612):p:147-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Alain Kabundi & Asi Mbelu, 2017. "Working Paper – WP/17/02- Estimating a time-varying financial conditions index for South Africa," Papers 8008, South African Reserve Bank.
    12. Ellington, Michael & Florackis, Chris & Milas, Costas, 2017. "Liquidity shocks and real GDP growth: Evidence from a Bayesian time-varying parameter VAR," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 93-117.

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