Lorenzo Burlon

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"Real and financial cycles in EU countries: Stylised facts and modelling implications"

Joint with the WGEM Team on Real and Financial Cycles.

First version: January 2018.

Abstract This paper studies the cyclical properties of real GDP, house prices, credit, and nominal liquid financial assets in 17 EU countries, by applying several methods to extract cycles. The estimates confirm earlier findings of large medium-term cycles in credit volumes and house prices. GDP appears to be subject to fluctuations at both business-cycle and medium-term frequencies, and GDP fluctuations at medium-term frequencies are strongly correlated with cycles in credit and house prices. Cycles in equity prices and long-term interest rates are considerably shorter than those in credit and house prices and have little in common with the latter. Credit and house price cycles are weakly synchronous across countries and their volatilities vary widely – these differences may be related to the structural properties of housing and mortgage markets. Finally, DSGE models can replicate the volatility of cycles in house and equity prices, but not the persistence of house price cycles.

Keywords: financial cycles, synchronicity, real-time estimates, DSGE models.

JEL classifications: C32, E32, E44.

Working paper versions:

Occasional papers of the ECB, n. 205, January 2018.