An Anatomy of the Spanish Current Account Adjustment: The Role of Permanent and Transitory Factors
34 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2017
Date Written: October 31, 2017
This paper aims to identify how much of the recent current account adjustment in Spain can be explained by cyclical factors. For this purpose, we consider the cross-country regressions in the IMF’s External Balance Assessment (EBA) methodology but allowing for country-specific slopes and intercepts. The good fit of these regressions implies negligible residuals for most countries, and, as a result, the positive analysis of current account decompositions provides a more informative assessment of the external balance drivers. According to our findings, around 60% of the 12 pp. adjustment of the Spanish external imbalance over the 2008-2015 period can be explained by transitory factors such as the output gap, the oil balance, and the financial cycle. The remaining 40% is explained by factors such as the cyclically-adjusted fiscal consolidation, population aging, lower growth expectations, or competitiveness gains, which can all be considered as more permanent phenomena.
Keywords: current account, global imbalances
JEL Classification: F21, F32, F41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation