Francesco D'Acunto, Daniel Hoang, Michael Weber, 27 April 2016

The Eurozone faces zero inflation paired with low economic growth. With monetary policy hobbled by the zero lower bound, it is time to think more broadly. This column discusses the theoretical and empirical evidence on ‘unconventional fiscal policy’.  Such policies aim to increase growth and inflation in a budget-neutral fashion, while keeping the tax burden on households constant.

Paul De Grauwe, 30 January 2015

Nowhere in the developed world is secular stagnation more visible than in the Eurozone. This column explains this phenomenon with asymmetric external balances within the Eurozone. Southern countries had accumulated current-account deficits and became debtors when the Crisis hit, whereas the northern ones became creditors. The burden of the adjustments has been borne almost exclusively by the debtor countries creating a deflationary bias. Suggested fiscal policy prescriptions are government investment programmes, to be implemented by northern countries (and in particular, Germany).

Paul De Grauwe, Yuemei Ji, 15 January 2015

The ECB has been struggling to implement a programme of quantitative easing (QE) that would successfully target deflation. The main difficulty is political, stemming from opposition from German institutions. Their argument against is that a government bond buying programme by the ECB would mix fiscal and monetary policy. This column argues the opposite – such a programme can be structured so that it does not mix fiscal and monetary policy. It, therefore, would not impose a risk on German taxpayers.

Angus Armstrong, Francesco Caselli, Jagjit Chadha, Wouter den Haan, 13 May 2014

Although Eurozone inflation has persistently surprised on the downside and has been below 1% since October 2013, the UK macroeconomics profession is not convinced that this heralds a deflation. In the second monthly survey by the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM), summarised in this column, a small majority of respondents do not think there is a significant risk of Eurozone deflation in the next two years. But nearly two thirds of respondents to the CFM survey think that sustained Eurozone deflation would pose a significant threat to the UK recovery.