The components of the real exchange rate in Hungary
This paper provides a statistical analysis of the components of real exchange rate in Hungary for the period 1991-1996. The real exchange rate is decomposed into a tradable and a nontradable rate. The following main conclusions are valid: 1. The Balassa-Samuelson effect, which presumes a real appreciation when productivity in the tradable sector grows faster than in the nontradable sector, is markedly substantiated by the data for Hungary. 2. The homogeneity assumption of the traded sector is not justified by the data. The traded sector defined by the usual statistical terms does not indicate PPP to hold. 3. The relative (common currency) price of the traded sector shows fluctuations driven by changes in the nominal exchange rate. 4. Fluctuations in the relative (common currency) price of the traded sector are larger than fluctuations of relative prices of nontradables in terms of tradables. In other words prices of the traded and non-traded sectors behave similarly to nominal exchange rate shocks: they have similar inertia. 5. A summary conclusion comprising findings of 1-4: for Hungarian data the definition of statistical categories of trading and non-trading sectors are useful in separating industries according to their rate of technological change, but it is much less helpful in separating good substitutes from poor substitutes for internationally traded goods. In section 1 we describe the way we decomposed the real exchange rate. In section 2 we try to explain the determinants of the components, in section 3 we try to arrive to a quantification of the rate of change of the equilibrium real exchange rate in Hungary.