January 2019

Financial conditions are not fully captured by the short-term interest rate, especially when it is stuck at its lower bound. As a result, financial institutions and central banks turn to other indicators richer in information such as financial condition indices (FCI). We provide a new FCI with time-varying component weights which pinpoints the sources of changes in financial conditions.

Dynamics of the Banque de France FCI for the euro area
Chart 1: Dynamics of the Banque de France FCI for the euro area Sources: Bloomberg and the authors’ calculations

By Pierre Guerin, Adrian Penalver and Pierre-Francois Weber

Excess liquidity in the euro area has risen by less than the liquidity created by unconventional monetary policy measures. This is because much liquidity has been absorbed by non-monetary deposit accounts held by national central banks. As monetary policy normalises, liquidity will become scarcer. At what point this scarcity will cause interbank rates to drift above the deposit facility rate will depend on whether this “autonomous” demand remains high.

Chart 1: Excess liquidity at extraordinary high levels due to unconventional monetary policy Source: ECB Statistical Data Warehouse. Broken lines correspond to the period in which the Eurosystem switched to 8 from 12 maintenance periods per year. EAPP: Expanded Asset Purchase Programme

After the ECB’s Governing Council Monetary policy meetings, market uncertainty has systematically fallen. It has done so even more in the past years. In particular, announcements related to asset purchases had a strong dampening impact on market uncertainty. This suggests that, despite the increasing complexity of unconventional policies, the ECB has been successful in communication.

Market uncertainty drops on ECB’s Governing Council Days
Figure 1: Market uncertainty drops on ECB’s Governing Council Days

By the Eco Notepad editorial team

Eco Notepad celebrated its second anniversary in December 2018. This is an opportunity to look back on this rich period in which we published almost 100 blog posts analysing economic and monetary developments. The posts on inflation, monetary policy and financial stability attracted a great deal of interest from our readers, as did those on growth and global trade, the deindustrialisation of the French economy and the increase in the number of monopolies in the United States. Let’s take a closer look.