Bank of Lithuania
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No 30

Do projected fiscal deficits play a role in ECB monetary policymaking?

  • Abstract

    We estimate a large number of alternative monetary policy reaction functions for the ECB in order to robustly ascertain whether fiscal stance matters for the conduct of monetary policy. We use the GMM and SVAR methods to estimate inflation-output reaction functions with and without a fiscal deficit indicator from 2001 until 2022 using the thick-modelling approach. The results reveal that the actions of the ECB have exhibited desirable effects on stabilising monetary policy, and have generally been found to be consistent with the Taylor principle. Most importantly, the projected euro area fiscal deficit is usually not statistically significant in explaining the ECB’s stance on monetary policy. Nevertheless, when the fiscal deficit indicator is statistically significant, the sign of its coefficient is always positive, implying that increasing deficits lead to a more restrictive monetary policy stance. These findings speak against the fiscal dominance regime in the euro area, where monetary policy is single and fiscal policies are decentralised. The results remain qualitatively similar independent of the precise specification of the GMM and SVAR models or whether the sample period is shortened to only 2012–2022.

    Keywords: ECB, monetary policy, reaction function, Taylor rule, fiscal deficits, fiscal stance.

    JEL Classification: E43; E52; E58; E61; E62; H62.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.