Download publication

Working Paper

Measuring macroeconomic uncertainty during the euro’s lifetime’

The basic idea is that observable forecasts of macroeconomic variables are transformations of the sets of macroeconomic information, which are so complex as to be unobservable, prevailing when the forecasts are made.

By: and Date: June 20, 2022 Topic: Macroeconomic policy

It is a cliché in official economic institutions’ publications and their leaders’ speeches to lament exceptional uncertainty. The complaint does, however, ring true currently. A solid empirical basis should be given to this view by properly measuring macroeconomic uncertainty.

To measure macroeconomic uncertainty, we start from observable forecasts of macroeconomic variables, which are transformations of underlying economic conditions. By observing how forecasts change over time, we measure the flow of macroeconomic surprises. The more intense the flow of surprises, the greater uncertainty can be said to be. Greater differences among forecasts are also evidence of uncertainty.

We draw out four indicators of macroeconomic uncertainty, measured over the lifetime of the euro:

  1. How the macroeconomic forecasts of a given institution for the same time period change over time;
  2. How the macroeconomic forecasts of a given institution deviate from realised outcomes;
  3. How the macroeconomic forecasts of different institutions deviate from one other;
  4. How dispersed the forecasts of different professionals are.

We also measure whether the ‘stag-‘ or the ‘-flationary’ component is stronger in the overall stagflationary shock caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

 

Recommended citation:
Grzegorczyk, M. and F. Papadia (2022) ‘Measuring macroeconomic uncertainty during the euro’s lifetime’, Working Paper 10/2022, Bruegel

Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Opinion

China can see the limits of bailing out Russia's economy

Beijing will support Moscow as long as it does not fall foul of Western sanctions.

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global economy and trade Date: March 16, 2022
Read about event More on this topic
 

Past Event

Past Event

An alpine divide? Comparing economic cultures in Germany and Italy

A discussion of Italian and German macro-economic cultures and performances.

Speakers: Thomas Mayer, Patricia Mosser, Marianne Nessén, Hiroshi Nakaso, Francesco Papadia, André Sapir and Jean-Claude Trichet Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: April 13, 2021
Read about event More on this topic
 

Past Event

Past Event

A European response to the coronavirus crisis with Paolo Gentiloni

This is the second event in our series with the Financial Times, where Paolo Gentiloni will discuss the European response to the coronavirus crisis.

Speakers: Paolo Gentiloni, Mehreen Khan and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Macroeconomic policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 6, 2020
Read article Download PDF More on this topic
 

External Publication

How has the macroeconomic imbalances procedure worked in practice to improve the resilience of the euro area?

This paper shows how the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure (MIP) could be streamlined and its underlying conceptual framework clarified. Implementation of the country-specific recommendations is low; their internal consistency is sometimes missing; despite past reforms, the MIP remains largely a countryby-country approach running the risk of aggravating the deflationary bias in the euro area. We recommend to streamline the scoreboard around a few meaningful indicators, involve national macro-prudential and productivity councils, better connect the various recommendations, simplify the language and further involve the Commission into national policy discussions. This document was prepared for the Economic Governance Support Unit at the request of the ECON Committee.

By: Agnès Bénassy-Quéré and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: March 24, 2020
Read article More on this topic
 

Blog Post

Be bold now: coronavirus, the Eurogroup and fiscal safety nets

This blog post sketches two scenarios: one in which countries provide a large fiscal safety net to companies and another in which they do not. Both lead to similar debt-to-GDP ratios in 2021, but the safety net leads to a smaller and shorter recession and a quicker rebound. We then discuss how to fund a large response without fragmenting the euro area. Until the lockdowns end, such measures should be implemented.

By: Guntram B. Wolff and Bruegel Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: March 17, 2020
Read article Download PDF
 

Policy Contribution

An effective economic response to the Coronavirus in Europe

'Whatever it takes' needs to be the motto to preserve lives and reduce the impact on the economy of the epidemic.

By: Maria Demertzis, André Sapir, Simone Tagliapietra and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Macroeconomic policy, Testimonies Date: March 12, 2020
Read article More on this topic
 

Opinion

What if the rest of Europe follows Italy's coronavirus fate?

The silence from Brussels could be as damaging as the silence on Italian streets

By: Simone Tagliapietra and Bruegel Topic: Global economy and trade Date: March 11, 2020
Read article More on this topic
 

Blog Post

Three macroeconomic issues and Covid-19

COVID-19 raises a number of serious issues of a sanitary, social and economic nature. While recognizing the difficulty of giving definitive answers at this early stage, we attempt to shed light on three critical macroeconomic topics.

By: Leonardo Cadamuro, Francesco Papadia and Bruegel Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: March 10, 2020
Read article More by this author
 

Blog Post

Climate risks to European banks: a new era of stress tests

Several European central banks have begun assessing the impact of adverse climate scenarios on banks’ capital. Comparable work at EU or euro area level has evolved more slowly. Supervisors need build up a distinct and more complex type of analysis, and should engage with banks now.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: Banking and capital markets, Green economy Date: February 4, 2020
Read article Download PDF More on this topic More by this author
 

External Publication

Factors determining Russia’s long-term growth rate

This paper’s main conclusion is that Russia’s economy cannot grow at the pace recorded in the early and mid-2000s because of the different external environment, the different stage of development and serious demographic headwinds.

By: Marek Dabrowski Topic: Global economy and trade Date: January 16, 2020
Read article More on this topic
 

Opinion

Why border carbon adjustment is important for Europe’s green deal

The European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen is pursuing ambitious environmental targets, notably to reach zero net emissions across the EU by 2050. This transition requires pricing emissions to incentivise producers to develop greener alternatives, while avoiding putting domestic producers at a disadvantage.

By: Guntram B. Wolff and Bruegel Topic: Green economy Date: November 27, 2019
Read article More on this topic
 

Blog Post

EU support for SME IPOs should be part of a broader package that unlocks equity finance

The incoming Commission President has put support for SMEs at the centre of her economic programme. A public-private fund investing in initial public offerings should be carefully targeted, primarily at small firms with risky projects. The announced SME strategy and further measures under the Capital Markets Union programme should address numerous other barriers to both public and private equity finance.

By: Alexander Lehmann and Bruegel Topic: Banking and capital markets Date: September 16, 2019
Load more posts