The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper analyzes the relationship between selected macroeconomic and financial soundness indicators (FSIs) using a newly assembled panel dataset of FSIs for 96 countries covering the period 1998-2005. The analysis covers key macroeconomic indicators and FSIs of capital adequacy, asset quality and profitability. The paper finds that FSIs fluctuate strongly with both the business cycle and the inflation rate. Short term interest rates and the real exchange rate also emerge as important determinants. There is also a considerable degree of heterogeneity in the relationship between macroeconomic indicators and FSIs across the sample of countries. Several country and industry specific characteristics including country income levels, financial depth, market concentration, and the quality of regulatory supervision are found to be significant in explaining this cross country heterogeneity.