CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale
Some Unpleasant Euro Arithmetic


Guillaume Gaulier
Vincent Vicard

Current estimates of misalignments in real effective exchange rates show that euro area imbalances are still large: Germany exhibits a 20 percentage point undervaluation compared to the rest of the euro area (EA). Within a monetary union, rebalancing requires price adjustments through differentials in inflation rates. The rebalancing process therefore involves a 2 percentage point higher inflation in Germany than in the rest of the EA over a decade, or a 1 pp over two decades. It also requires above 2% inflation in surplus countries to meet the 2% ECB inflation target. At the current pace, rebalancing is a 20 year process and requires sustained very low inflation rates in the rest of the euro area.

 Keywords : Current account imbalances | Euro area | Exchange rates misalignments

 JEL : E31, F32
CEPII Policy Brief
N°2018-21,  2018

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