Friday, September 18, 2009

From recessions to recovery:Some notes (II)

The role of macroeconomic policy , is key to have a strong impact on the economic recovery . According to the IMF paper ,(WP/09/183, august 2009), a 1% of GDP increase in fiscal deficit imply a 0,12% increase in the post recession GDP rebound. On the other side, expansionary Monetary policy is also a powerful tool in industrial countries ,for economic recovery. In fact ,a 10% increase in the growth rate of real money stock , is associated with 0,35% increase in GDP growth. Adding up both effects, GDP growth in industrial economies , should start to reflect the impact of these recent expansionary fiscal and monetary policy.
Exchange rate policy is also relevant to define the recovery profile. Those countries with flexible exchange rate , experience a recovery growth more than a percentage point higher than those with fixed exchange rate .This was also the case after the Asian economic crisis in 1997.The flexible exchange rate ,allows for relative prices to adjust itself while the recession take place, such that while the non tradable sector fall the tradable sector expands , compensating for the decrease in domestic activity ,without making it further significant
Concerning structural policies, effective labor market rigidities( abiding by the enforcement of the labor law), have a negative effect on economy recovery, as long as it acts like a constraint to the adjustment between non tradable to tradable sectors goods , delaying the transfer from the unemployed to employed status, while the tradable sector creates new jobs opportunities.-
All of the previous notes, lead us to the following conclusion:
a.- Macroeconomic policies differences , influences the path of economic recovery among different countries. In the 2008 financial crisis, a decisive level of coordination which guided the implementation of both expansionary fiscal and monetary policy ,will make possible to have a low level of growth divergence between industrialized countries ,concerning the pace of recovery, although it is still plausible to have a “F” shaped recovery anyway. Some countries in Europe (Spain and Italy)are behind schedule for economic recovery.
b.- The mix between monetary and fiscal expansion, creates the challenges of the so called “exit strategy” ,which depend heavily upon monetary policy skills to avoid inflationary pressures, given the political nature of fiscal policy. However, as long as the fiscal expansion impact on growth is stronger and persistent, than the impact of expansionary monetary policy , it might be possible to neutralize the risk of the so called “W” shaped recovery(math in the first paragraph , seems to support this hypothesis).Therefore, while the monetary policy becomes more restrictive, the lasting impact of fiscal policy, might be a compensatory force keeping the momentum for economic growth .-
c.- Thus, the economic recovery which is already under way, it might turn out to be persistent although not homogeneously a strong one across the board, at least in the beginning of such a process, to get momentum later on (2010).

Friday, September 04, 2009

From recessions to recovery: Some notes (I)

A recent IMF paper (WP/09/183) , “International evidence on recovery from recessions”, (august 09)written by V. Cerra, U. Panizza and S. Saxena, analyzes the evidence concerning the main characteristics arising from past recoveries ,with data spanning 1960 to 2005 .
The first notion to take into account ,is that not all recoveries have the same profile although at fist glance, it might look so. It is important to make the distinction between recoveries arising from real shocks from that ones arising from financial shocks. In the former case the recovery looks stronger, while in the later case the recovery looks sluggish and weak which make more vulnerable . .
These differences , arises from the fact that the financial sector is at the core of the transmission mechanism of financial resources from savers to investors, such that when the banking system works well , they (investors) can undertake their investment project as planned ,otherwise when the banking system is in trouble ,they face unexpected delay to do so , therefore reducing output expansion because of lower investment level .
A real shock instead(For example, a decrease in exports due to a falling external demand ), deals with an adjustment process concerning expenditures ,which must go down according to the new lower income level, while the financial sector is healthy and ready to support the new expansion cycle, which will start up as soon as there are new sources of external demand .This was the case , after the Asian economies crisis (1997), for those economies which had the capabilities to shift exports from one falling market, to other with some potential making the case for stronger recoveries because of both: this managerial skills ,but also because its fundamental (financial sector) were also strong.
The other side of the analysis, deal with the effectiveness of the instrument applied since the economic activity start to go into negative territory, along with the level of openness to world market . Thus, Fiscal policy is less effective in open economies than it is for closed economies, therefore economic recovery is weaker in open economies than what it is closed economies. On this regard, and to be fair with fiscal policy countercyclical capabilities, it is important to take into account the Income elasticity of demand for export as well. If the income elasticity is high, a substantial drop in external demand will impact strongly on export ,affecting the path of tradable goods contribution to the recovery, making more difficult to compensate for the decrease in domestic demand .The opposite applies for closed economies .In this case by definition, the impact of countercyclical fiscal policy goes fully to the sector (domestic demand) which matter for economic activity.-
The available data suggest that the current recovery will have different characteristics, and it will hardly be a fast recovery. The economic recovery profile, looks to be at a slow pace in industrialized countries , while in emerging economies the recovery might be at a faster pace than their global counterparts.-