Macroeconomic Trends among Visegrád Countries, EU Balkans, and the U.S., 1991-2021
Central European Business Review, 2021, vol. 2021, issue 2, 1-20
The paper provides an introduction to the special issue. It shows a sense in which Visegrád and Balkan EU countries are correlated in macroeconomic performance and integrated with the global business cycles. Using inflation rate levels as a starting point to characterize when these countries began their transitions, it shows that after 1996 both real GDP growth and real interest rates move together to a significant degree both with each other and with the US. This provides a background from which to view the paths since the collapse of the Soviet Union that these transition economies have taken. In addition, comparison is made to US money and banking policy, to provide an outline of how this may impact progress in the transition region. A subsequent summary of the other articles in the issue shows an inter-relation in their themes about how Central, Eastern, and Southeast Europe have progressed since 1991, and how these paths may be affected by Western economic policy. Implications for Central European audience: The paper shows that transition regions can be impacted by international financial integration, including to possible detriment when capital markets are regulated by policy that pushes real interest rates below their natural levels. Negative real interest rate policy since the 2008-2009 financial crisis and again during the Covid crisis may hasten the rise of autocratic democracy and limit social, political, and economic freedom.
Keywords: transition countries; business cycles; real GDP growth rates; inflation rates; real bond interest rates (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E31 E32 E44 P26 P33 P44 P51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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