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Measuring potential output for the South African economy: Embedding information about the financial cycle

  • Harri Kemp

    ()

    (Bureau for Economic Research, university of Stellenbosch)

In a recent paper, Borio et al (2013a) show that information embedded in the financial cycle can serve to improve measures of potential output and output gaps. It is argued that output may be on an unsustainable path despite low and stable inflation if financial imbalances are accumulating. Borio et al (2013a) show that incorporating information on the financial cycle yields measures of potential output and output gaps for the US, UK and Spain that are estimated more precisely and are more robust in real time. With its well-developed financial markets and relatively open capital markets, the South African economy is potentially susceptible to the build-up of the sort of financial imbalances that characterised the recent financial crisis. However, existing measures of the output gap for South Africa do not generally incorporate information on the financial cycle. Using the framework developed in Borio et al (2013a), a finance-neutral measure of the output gap is estimated for South Africa. The traditional HP-filter is extended to incorporate information on credit and property prices. Including financial cycle proxies result in output gaps that are estimated more precisely and are more robust to data revisions and the arrival of new data points (i.e. estimated output gaps are more robust in real time), while also reflecting the impact of financial variables on economic activity. As such, the estimated finance-neutral output gap seems to represent a more appropriate measure on which to base monetary policy decisions than the traditional inflation-neutral measures prevalent in the literature.

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File URL: http://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2014/wp032014/wp-03-2014.pdf
File Function: First version, 2014
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Paper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 03/2014.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers208
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  1. Meade, James E, 1978. "The Meaning of "Internal Balance"," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(351), pages 423-35, September.
  2. Claudio Borio & Frank Piti Disyatat & Mikael Juselius, 2013. "Rethinking potential output: Embedding information about the financial cycle," BIS Working Papers 404, Bank for International Settlements.
  3. Tetsuya Konuki, 2008. "Estimating Potential Output and the Output Gap in Slovakia," IMF Working Papers 08/275, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Ben Smit & Le Roux Burrows, 2002. "Estimating potential output and output gaps for the South African economy," Working Papers 05/2002, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  5. Stan du Plessis & Ben Smit & Federico Sturzenegger, 2008. "Identifying Aggregate Supply and Demand Shocks in South Africa †," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(5), pages 765-793, November.
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  8. Mathias Drehmann & Claudio Borio & Kostas Tsatsaronis, 2011. "Anchoring Countercyclical Capital Buffers: The role of Credit Aggregates," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(4), pages 189-240, December.
  9. Harvey, A C & Jaeger, A, 1993. "Detrending, Stylized Facts and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 231-47, July-Sept.
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  12. Ruthira Naraidoo & Leroi Raputsoane, 2013. "Financial markets and the response of monetary policy to uncertainty in South Africa," Working Papers 201310, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
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  14. Jessica Kramer and Greg Farrell, 2014. "The reliability of South African real-time output gap estimates," Working Papers 428, Economic Research Southern Africa.
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