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Discussion Paper Series

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Discussion papers disseminate economic research relevant to the tasks and functions of the Bank of Lithuania and of the European System of Central Banks. One of the main objectives of the series is to deepen the understanding of policy-relevant questions and stimulate more in-depth expert discussions by offering a more rigorous analysis of an issue under review. The research featured in the Discussion Paper Series provides a theoretically and empirically founded basis for policy-making. Discussion papers help to develop and strengthen collaboration between the Bank of Lithuania and other central banks, Lithuanian and foreign institutions acting in the fields of economic policy, analysis and/or research.

Papers are only available in English.

No 28
2022-04-12

ECB monetary policy communication: does it move euro area yields?

  • Abstract

    Communication issues in central banking are important for maintaining the transparency of decisions and preparing financial markets for future changes in monetary policy. This study aims to determine what impact ECB monetary policy communication has on sovereign yields in the euro area on an intraday basis. We analyze different types of ECB monetary policy communication events: ECB monetary policy decisions, press conferences, accounts, and speeches made by Executive Board members. With the help of OLS and panel regression, we study how these communication events and control variables affect the intraday yield changes of major euro area sovereign and overnight index swap markets since 2014. The results from the baseline regression reveal that all four types of analyzed ECB monetary policy communication events have been affecting yields of the largest euro area sovereigns, with ECB decisions and press conferences showing the most substantial impact. Countries with the highest debt levels (such as Italy, Spain, and France) experienced the most robust changes in fiscal costs from ECB communication events, while the German bund market seems less affected. However, the period encompassing the economic shock induced by the Covid-19 pandemic shows much weaker effects, while Executive Board members who have been in charge since the start of the sample period of 2014 seem to have a much more substantial impact on euro area yields than more recent members. Sovereign yields bear the most decisive impact from media articles covering speeches’ topics of unconventional monetary policy measures and, to a smaller extent, interest rates and monetary policy targets.

    JEL Codes: C80, E43, E44, E58, G12.

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

No 27
2022-04-04

Producer and consumer price rigidity: the case of Lithuania

  • Abstract

    I provide the first statistics on producer and consumer price rigidity in Lithuania based on HICP and PPI item-level databases covering about 73% and 99.5% of their respective weights between 2010 and 2018. Producer prices are much more flexible than consumer prices, with an average monthly frequency of price change of 58% versus 18%. Contrariwise, the average size of price increases and decreases is higher in the HICP, reaching about 17-18% in absolute terms, whereas it is 7.5% in the PPI. In both price families, changes in item-level inflation are primarily due to variations in the size of price changes. However, the sources of these size changes are substantially shaped by shifts in the share of the number of price increases in the total.

    JEL Codes: D40, E31, E50.

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

No 26
2021-08-26

Business cycles in the EU: A comprehensive comparison across methods

  • Abstract

    Recently, star variables and the post-crisis nature of cyclical fluctuations have attracted a great deal of interest. In this paper, we investigate different methods of assessing business cycles for the European Union in general and the euro area in particular. First, we conduct a Monte Carlo experiment using a broad spectrum of univariate trend-cycle decomposition methods. The simulation aims to examine the ability of the analyzed methods to find the observed simulated cycle with structural properties similar to actual macroeconomic data. For the simulation, we used the structural model’s parameters calibrated to the euro area’s real GDP and unemployment rate. The simulation outcomes indicate the sufficient composition of the suite of models consisting of popular Hodrick-Prescott, Christiano-Fitzgerald and structural trend-cycle-seasonal filters, then used for the real application. We find that: (i) there is a high level of model uncertainty in comparing the estimates; (ii) growth rate (acceleration) cycles have often the worst performances, but they could be useful as early-warning predictors of turning points in growth and business cycles; and (iii) the best-performing Monte Carlo approaches provide a reasonable combination as the suite of models. When swings last less time and/or are smaller, it is easier to pick a good alternative method to the suite to capture the business cycle for real GDP. Second, we estimate the business cycles for real GDP and unemployment data varying from 1995Q1 to 2020Q4 (GDP) or 2020Q3 (unemployment), ending up with 28 cycles per country. Our analysis also confirms that the business cycles of euro area members are quite synchronized with the aggregate euro area. Some major differences can be found, however, especially in the case of periphery and new member states, with the latter improving in terms of coherency after the global financial crisis. The German cycles are among the cyclical movements least synchronised with the aggregate euro area.

    JEL Codes: C31, E27, E32.

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

No 25
2021-05-11

ECB Communication: What Is It Telling Us?

  • Abstract

    This paper examines changing ECB communication and how it has impacted euro area financial markets over the past two decades. We applied a combination of topic modelling and sentiment analysis for over 2000 public ECB Executive Board member speeches, as well as over 200 ECB press conferences. Topic analysis revealed that the ECB’s main focus has shifted from strategy and objectives, at the inception of the euro area, to various policy actions during the global financial crisis and, more recently, to instruments and economic developments. Sentiment analysis showed an expected trend of a more negative communication tone during periods of turmoil and a gradual shift to a more dovish monetary policy tone over time. Regression analysis revealed that sentiment indices had the expected impact on financial market indicators, while press conferences showed substantially stronger effects than speeches.

    JEL Codes: C80, E43, E44, E58, G12.

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