The Fiscal Effects of Terms-of-Trade-Driven Inflation
No 190, European Economy - Discussion Papers from Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission
This paper looks at whether the recent sharp spike in inflation can be beneficial for public debt sustainability by eroding the real value of nominal debt. Simulations with the European Commission’s QUEST model suggest that if the source of inflation is an adverse terms-of-trade shock, then it leads to a rising public debt-to-GDP ratio. In this case, the debt-reducing effect of higher inflation is outweighed by the adverse effects of slower real growth, a declining primary budget balance, and higher interest rates as an active monetary policy tightens to fight inflationary pressures. The results are highly policy-dependent: shorter consolidated debt maturity (brought about by past QE programs) would speed up the rise in interest expenditures, while a more accommodative monetary policy would delay them, also supporting nominal growth. The reaction of the primary fiscal balance (via automatic stabilisers, inflation indexation and debt-stabilisation rules) also matters. However, the baseline result that the debt-to-GDP ratio rises in response to an adverse terms-oftrade shock is fairly robust across all but the most extreme alternative policy scenarios
JEL-codes: E52 E62 E63 F41 F44 H62 H63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 68 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-eec, nep-mac, nep-mon and nep-opm
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:euf:dispap:190
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