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.
The paper uses survey data to analyze whether financial market expectations on government budget deficits changed in France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom during the period of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). Our findings indicate that accuracy of financial expert deficit forecasts increased in France. Convergence between the European Commission's and market experts' deficit forecasts also increased in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, particularly during the period after SGP's reform in 2005. Yet, convergence between markets' forecasts and those of the French, German, and Italian national fiscal authorities seems not to have increased significantly during the SGP.