Inflation in Eurozone, Converging and Diverging Countries

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Svetlana Popović


The paper analyses the progress eurozone members made towards the convergence of inflation rates, which is a necessary condition for the effective implementation of the common monetary policy broadly appropriate for all members. It was expected that the common monetary policy would lead to the convergence of member states’ economic performance, including inflation rates. The literature review shows that the majority of authors agree that a significant convergence process occurred before 1999, but no further progress was made after that. Our analysis indicates that inflation processes in member countries are diverse. Namely, monetary stability has been achieved in some countries, while inflation is more volatile in others. There is an insufficient correlation between inflation rates, the different transmission of shocks to inflation and different exposure to risks of rising energy and food prices. We conducted a unit root test on the series of inflation differentials for each country to determine which countries were in a process of absolute convergence. In the group of the first 12 members, we found evidence of convergence for the majority of countries, as there is no unit root. Thus, individual countries indeed made progress toward greater monetary stability (and the EMU level). We examined the standard deviations of the inflation differentials in the group of converging countries (separately for converging core and peripheral countries) and found no evidence that these groups of countries are becoming more homogeneous. In the group of new EMU members, we found evidence of convergence towards the EMU average for only four countries in the period of their membership, but not in the previous period. 

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