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Mr. Ales Bulir and Mr. Jan Vlcek
Does monetary policy react systematically to macroeconomic innovations? In a sample of 16 countries – operating under various monetary regimes – we find that monetary policy decisions, as expressed in yield curve movements, do react to macroeconomic innovations and these reactions reflect the monetary policy regime. While we find evidence of the primacy of the price stability objective in the inflation targeting countries, links to inflation and the output gap are generally weaker and less systematic in money-targeting and multiple-objective countries.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Economic activity continued to expand in the first half of 2018, albeit at a slower-than-expected pace, mainly in advanced Europe. Domestic demand, supported by stronger employment and wages, remains the main engine of growth. However, the external environment has become less supportive and is expected to soften further in 2019 owing to slowing global demand, trade tensions, and higher energy prices. Tighter financial conditions in vulnerable emerging market economies and maturing business cycles are also weighing on activity. Accordingly, growth is projected to moderate from 2.8 percent in 2017 to 2.3 percent in 2018 and 1.9 percent in 2019. That said, it is expected to remain above potential in most countries in the region.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights Sweden’s continued strong economic growth. Real GDP is expected to rise by 3.1 percent in 2017, driven by both domestic demand and exports growing at a similar pace. Robust job creation of over 2 percent has lowered unemployment to 6.8 percent, or just 4.5 percent excluding full-time students. Housing price increases have moderated somewhat in 2017, to 7 percent year over year in September. Aided by large increases in new dwelling construction, signs of further market cooling have emerged in recent months. Household credit growth has also eased somewhat in 2017. Unexpectedly, strong government revenues in 2016 have carried forward into 2017, with the general government fiscal surplus projected at 1 percent of GDP.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

2017 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Sweden