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On credit and output: Is the supply of credit relevant?

Joshua Wojnilower

The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, 2018, vol. 45, issue C, 38-56

Abstract: The consensus that changes in the supply of credit were irrelevant to making monetary policy decisions existed among macroeconomists during the second half of the twentieth century. Transmission of shocks to the real economy through changes in the supply of credit, however, played an important role in the recent U.S. financial crisis. This paper explores the extent to which policymakers should consider changes in the supply of credit when making forecasts and monetary policy decisions. More specifically, it considers whether a measure of real credit balances offers consistent and stable information, beyond that of a real interest rate and real money balances, about future output gaps during the U.S. post-war era. Results yield evidence that changes in real credit balances are the only variable, among those considered, to provide consistent and stable information about future output gaps over the entire sample period. Each information variable, however, provides relatively little value added for forecasting future output gaps, beyond a simple autoregressive model. To improve upon forecasts and monetary policy decisions, policymakers therefore should consider a broader range of information variables and occasionally reassess the relative weightings assigned to each.

Keywords: Credit; Money; Real interest rate; Output gap; Federal Reserve; Monetary policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E32 E52 E58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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