January 2020

Post n°150
Published on 01/28/2020

The Taylor rule provides a natural paragon of short-term nominal interest rates, albeit one that is subject to considerable uncertainty. This post quantifies this uncertainty and shows how this quantification contributes to monetary policy assessment. It shows that, in 2019, short-term interest rates in the euro area were close to the middle of the benchmark interval thus obtained.

Chart 1: Distribution of Taylor rates, 2015-2019 Sources: Eurostat and author’s calculations. Note: The pink areas, from the darkest to the lightest, indicate the 50%, 70%, 80%, 90% and 95% confidence intervals of Taylor rates.
Post n°149
Published on 01/22/2020

By Stéphanie Lange-Gaumand (French Embassy in Japan), Baptiste Meunier and Brieuc Monfort (Sophia University, Japan, and FFJ-EHESS)

Japan is a special case in that it is one of the first countries to face an ageing population. It is also unique in terms of the magnitude of this demographic: the proportion of people over 65 years old is the highest in the world and its population is expected to fall by 40% by 2100. Japan seems to have accepted this population decline and has focused on controlling welfare spending, which reflects national preferences.

Chart 1 – Contraction and ageing of the population
Chart 1 – Contraction and ageing of the population Source: UN forecasts (2019)
Post n°148
Published on 01/17/2020

By Antoine Lalliard, Julien Le Roux, Marie Delorme and William Honvo

This post proposes a measure of property purchasing power by calculating the floor area in m² that an individual with an average income could buy with a housing loan (excluding deposits) in some of the largest euro area countries. After declining sharply in the 2000s due to rising house prices (with the notable exception of Germany), affordable floor area has increased since the 2008 crisis, mainly thanks to lower interest rates.

Chart 1: Floor area affordable on credit in m² by country
Chart 1: Floor area affordable on credit in m² by country Sources: Authors’ calculations; Banque de France, OECD, ECB, HouseLev.
Post n°147
Published on 01/07/2020

By Cyril Couaillier, Dorian Henricot and Julien Idier

At the end of 2018, “at-risk” firms in France were estimated to have total gross debts of EUR 187 billion. A 100 basis-point rise in their cost of financing could push this amount up by 60%, potentially posing a risk to the financial system. This result supports the measures taken by the High Council for Financial Stability (HCSF) as of 2018 to strengthen the resilience of the banking system.

Chart 1: Debt at risk of French groups
Chart 1: Debt at risk of French groups Source: FIBEN group data and authors’ calculations. Note: ICR = Interest coverage ratio, or the ratio of earnings to interest payments. Net leverage is defined as the ratio of debt net of cash holdings to total equity.