International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note assesses strengths and weaknesses of the macroprudential policy framework in Austria and provides policy recommendations. Financial sector resilience in Austria has improved significantly since the global financial crisis, and the macroprudential policy framework has been formalized. The institutional framework is appropriate for conducting macroprudential policy effectively, but it could be strengthened in some areas. However, some structural vulnerabilities to financial stability remain and cyclical risks are on the rise. Banks’ low efficiency and the resulting low profitability of domestic operations continues to be a key concern, especially given the fact that the Central Europe and South Eastern Europe region accounts for over 40 percent of Austrian banks' consolidated profits. The framework contains a clear mandate, well-defined objectives, and provides enough powers to the Financial Market Stability Board. Broad-based vulnerabilities remain contained but build-up of risks in the real estate sector warrants further action. The framework for addressing structural vulnerabilities is sophisticated, however, further improvements could be considered.
Wage rises have remained stubbornly low in advanced Europe in recent years, but, at the same time, newer EU members are experiencing rapid wage acceleration. This paper investigates the drivers of this wage divergence. Econometric analysis using error correction models suggests that wage growth responds more quickly to changes in unemployment in the newer EU members than in advanced Europe, where wages are more closely related to inflation and inflation expectations in the short run, implying greater inertia in nominal wage rises in advanced Europe. In the years after the global crisis, this inertia contributed to the build up of a real wage overhang relative to sharply slowing labor productivity, which subsequently dragged on nominal wage rises even as unemployment began to decline. Spillovers of subdued wage growth between euro area countries also weighed on wage rises in advanced Europe.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This article is an overview of existing deposit insurance in the European Union. There are various national deposit schemes that form the source of insurance. The schemes come up with various coverage, contributions, and fund sizes. The recent financial crisis has brought about a change in the coverage system. The main intention of this insurance is to enhance financial stability. The role of this insurance varies both within the EU and worldwide. This insurance is important to sustain financial integration and internal functioning.
This report is focused on the impact of the financial crisis on the Austrian economy and the financial sector, the authorities’ policy responses, and macrofinancial linkages and spillovers. The financial sector has been expanding rapidly, mostly outside Austria. This has brought substantial benefits, but also increased risks and vulnerabilities. Maintaining financial stability will be essential for ensuring macroeconomic stability, fiscal sustainability, and a return to growth, while also having important spillovers to regional financial stability. Austria traditionally benefits from a low unemployment rate compared with the euro area.
The aim of this paper is to construct a comprehensive and consistent dataset to analyze the potential risks from foreign bank lending, for both the creditor and borrower countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CESE). We develop a picture of bank claims on 13 CESE countries by combining credit statistics from several sources. Our constructed data suggest that some of these host countries have become more at risk from a sudden withdrawal of short-term external funding, while home countries have significant aggregate exposures to the region. Overall, we find that data on banking activity remain largely inadequate for surveillance and policymaking purposes, and that a concerted effort to improve data collection is needed at the international level.
The recent financial crisis raises important issues about the transmission of financial shocks across borders. In this paper, a global vector autoregressive (GVAR) model is constructed to assess the relevance of international spillovers following a historical slowdown in U.S. equity prices. The GVAR model contains 27 country-specific models, including the United States, 17 European advanced economies, and 9 European emerging economies. Each country model is linked to the others by a set of country-specific foreign variables, computed using bilateral bank lending exposures. Results reveal considerable comovements of equity prices across mature financial markets. However, the effects on credit growth are found to be country-specific. Evidence indicates that asset prices are the main channel through which-in the short run-financial shocks are transmitted internationally, while the contribution of other variables-like the cost and quantity of credit-becomes more important over longer horizons.
Recent developments have increased questions about vulnerabilities in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEE) that are experiencing credit booms. This paper analyzes the role of foreign-owned banks in these credit booms. The results show that the CEE countries depend on foreign banks, and these foreign banks depend on interbank funding. Lending by foreign banks seems driven by economic growth and interest rate margins. This lending appears independent of economic but not financial conditions in the foreign bank's home country.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on the medium-term budgetary framework (MTBF) for Austria. Austria is part of a trend among many countries to consider some form of MTBF. This paper describes the proposed framework in Austria and assesses it in light of the experience of other countries. The general conclusion is that the track records are mixed, but that, on balance, the experiences with MTBFs have been favorable. The paper also examines the long-term fiscal challenges arising from demographic change.
This Selected Issues paper estimates a dynamic model of foreign currency loans to households in Austria to analyze their behavior and assess the effectiveness of measures intended to stem their rise. This paper also studies the developments in Austria’s economic linkages with Germany and the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). It finds that there has been delinking from Germany, albeit measured, while economic relationships with key CEEC trading partners have become stronger. The paper also discusses the dynamics of Austria’s economic linkages with Germany, and examines these linkages with the CEECs.
Eight central and eastern European countries--the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia--officially joined the European Union (EU) in May 2004. This auspicious milestone marked the beginning of the next major step for these countries in their move toward full integration with the EU-adoption of the euro. Seeking to consider the opportunities and challenges of euro adoption, the papers in this volume--by a noted group of country officials, academics, representatives of international institutions, and market participants-offer insight on the various dimensions of euro adoption in these eight new EU members--how they should prepare, whether an early move is optimal, and what pitfalls may occur along the way.