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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 31

Households' inflation expectations in Lithuania: A First look and overview

  • Abstract

    We document a number of novel stylised facts about Lithuanian households' inflation expectations. Inflation expectations of Lithuanian households are significantly above the recent observation of actual inflation. On average, year-on-year inflation was around 4 percent from 2004 to 2023. However, one-year-ahead inflation expectations of households over the same period were on average 16.9 percent. Although we observe a clear upward bias in inflation expectations, there is significant co-movement between actual inflation and inflation expectations of households. Additionally, we find that over the economic boom, inflation expectations are higher than inflation perceptions, a finding that reverses over the economic downturn. We build a VAR model to analyse whether and how inflation, households' inflation expectations/perceptions and unemployment are linked. We show that structural shocks to inflation expectations play a minor role in overall inflation and unemployment dynamics.

    Keywords: Households' inflation perceptions, inflation expectations.
    JEL Classification: C83, D12, E21, E31.

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.

No 29

ECB communication sentiments: how do they relate to the economic environment and financial markets?

  • Abstract

    In this paper we examine multiple dimensions of ECB monetary policy communication by identifying its sentiment and relation with the economic environment and financial markets. We quantify communication sentiment using transcripts from official ECB communication events – press conferences, accounts and Executive Board speeches – as well as media reactions that highlight the key messages of those events. Importantly, we create unique lexicons for both of those communication types. We find that the overall trends in the sentiment indices for the analysed communication events closely resemble the movements of monetary policy stance as well as macroeconomic indicators in the euro area, both before and after the COVID-19 shock period. The communication tone generally shifts in advance of actual monetary policy actions. Using regression analysis, we find some expected, statistically significant effects of press confer-ence sentiment on bank stock prices (information-type shock) and identify the impact of Executive Board speeches on euro area fiscal borrowing costs (short-term OIS rates). Fragmentation issues among euro area member states do not seem to be negatively affected by the sentiments of the ECB’s communication. Still, policy makers should be aware that the tone of their communication events is likely to affect particular financial markets.

    Keywords: ECB, monetary policy, communication, sentiment analysis, euro area, financial markets.

    JEL Codes: C80, E43, E44, E58, G14.

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

No 28

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.