Monetary Policy Transmission Mechanisms in the Central and Eastern European Countries

Viktor Shevchuk


Objective: The aim of this study is to examine monetary policy transmission mechanisms in four Central and Eastern European countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania), in the presence of fiscal and exchange rate effects.

Research Design & Methods: We implement a structural vector autoregression (SVAR) approach for modelling the interdependencies between monetary and fiscal policies, output gap and consumer price inflation (CPI). In our six-variable model, which includes the budget balance, the output gap, CPI, the central bank reference rate, the lending rate and the real exchange rate (RER), short-run restrictions on the contemporaneous structural parameters imply that the budget balance responds to changes in the output gap and lending rate, while the central bank reference rate is a function of output and inflationary shocks.

Findings: The results of our research show that the effects of an increase in the central bank’s short-run interest rate on inflation, output gap and the RER are quite heterogeneous across the CEE countries. As the monetary policy response to inflation seems to be significant and rather uniform across countries, though with a different time pattern, there is no evidence of its reaction to the output gap (except for Romania in the long run). Among other results, budget surplus has a strong anti-inflationary impact in all countries but at the expense of a short-lived output slowdown (except for Hungary). The RER undervaluation is likely to stimulate output (Romania) or depress it (Poland), with a neutral stance in the two other countries. As expected, an increase in the lending rate is followed by a fall in output on impact, while there is no significant effect on inflation.

Implications/Recommendations: Our study argues in favour of a much stronger response of the central bank reference rate to the output gap in the CEE countries. As suggested by the experience of Poland, an immediate response of the central bank to inflation could explain the lack of the price puzzle when an increase in the reference rate is associated with a sustained increase in consumer prices. An anti-inflationary monetary policy stance should be strengthened by fiscal tightening, while in a recession a higher budget deficit is likely to boost output and prevent a deflationary spiral.

Contribution: The article presents the application of the extended IS-MP-IA model to the modelling of monetary policies by the central banks of the CEE countries that practice a floating exchange rate regime.


inflation, output gap, budget balance, central bank reference rate, Central and Eastern European countries

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