Economy of the European Union

From this page you can access thematically grouped Analytical Articles published in the Economic Bulletin from 1999, ordered by date of dissemination within each year.

All documents are available in PDF format PDF File. Opens in a new window

  • 23/11/2017
    Contingent convertible bonds and subordinated debt of euro area credit institutions (674 KB) Ignacio Fuentes and Juan Carlos Casado

    The progressive entry into force of the new bank capital accord, known as Basel III, and the approval of the new regulations on the recovery and resolution of credit institutions in the European Union are increasing the need for credit institutions to have a sufficient capital buffer to absorb potential losses. In order to meet these legal requirements, European banks have, in recent years, issued contingent convertible bonds and subordinated debt. This article analyses the main characteristics of these hybrid instruments. It first presents the information available on the volumes and the numbers of issues and issuing institutions, and then analyses issuance costs and market prices of outstanding issues, paying particular attention to Spanish institutions’ issues.

  • 31/10/2017
    Human capital formation in the labour market (568 KB) Juan Jimeno, Aitor Lacuesta, Marta Martínez and Ernesto Villanueva

    The data from the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC) allow comparable measures of several aspects of human capital in 13 developed economies to be obtained. Drawing on these data, this article shows that work experience improves the numeracy and literacy skills of low-educated workers, a result that is observed in economies with different labour market institutions, educational systems and workforce compositions. The analyses performed suggest that on-the-job learning contributes considerably to the human capital of less educated individuals, which may help steer the formulation of active employment policies.

  • 14/09/2017
    The impact of unconventional monetary policy on euro area public finances (700 KB) Pablo Burriel, Francisco Martí and Javier J. Pérez

    Unconventional monetary policy measures implemented by the European Central Bank in recent years have helped to reduce interest rates on sovereign debt in the euro area as a whole. In addition to the direct impact on debt servicing payments, monetary policy conduct in the most recent period has had positive macroeconomic effects which have indirectly impacted the cyclical revenue and expenditure items in the government budget. This article approximately quantifies both direct and indirect effects for the main countries in the euro area.

  • 05/09/2017
    The EU’s new-generation trade agreements: the CETA treaty (399 KB) M.ª Jesús González, Esther Gordo and Marta Manrique

    Against an international background of low tariff barriers, the EU’s trade policy has shifted towards attaining bilateral trade agreements that promote the reduction both of non-tariff barriers and of those regulatory barriers that restrict the movement of goods, services, individuals and investment flows, in addition to including provisions relating to the environment, labour markets and intellectual property rights. An example of these “new-generation” agreements is the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) recently negotiated by the EU and Canada, which is in the process of being ratified by the national parliaments.The article describes the general characteristics of new-generation trade agreements, the difficulties posed by their regulatory and wide-ranging nature, and how the CETA has attempted to respond to some of the issues that have proven most controversial for public opinion. The significance of this agreement pertains not only to the economic impact it will have on the European and Canadian economies, but also to how it could act as a model for other agreements with developed countries, including that which the EU and the United Kingdom have to negotiate.

  • 25/07/2017
    Private-sector economic developments in the euro area in 2016 (719 KB) Ana del Río and José Antonio Cuenca

    This article describes the economic situation of the non-financial private sector in the euro area during 2016, on the basis of sectoral accounts. In the case of households, employment creation and low inflation provided for an increase in purchasing power which, along with the rise in wealth, was reflected in the strength of consumption, against a background in which the increase in nominal wages continue to be modest. The pace of economic recovery enabled firms to improve their profits and investment, although the investment drive was still moderate, while the sector continued to evidence a net lending capacity. The greater dynamism of lending both for households and firms was compatible with further increases in the ongoing correction of indebtedness, though such increases were uneven from one country to another. In the case of large corporations, the shift in the liabilities mix towards financing based on fixed-income securities continued, driven in 2016 by the Eurosystem’s monetary policy measures.

  • 21/07/2017
    Inflation expectation indicators based on financial instrument prices (1 MB) Alberto Fuertes and Ricardo Gimeno

    This article shows how indicators of agents’ inflation expectations can be derived from the prices of various financial instruments and presents the estimates obtained for the euro area and the United States. The results show that these metrics have reacted to economic and monetary decisions made in recent years, and that, on average, expected inflation is lower and less volatile in the euro area than in the United States.
    Moreover, since end-2016 there has been a marked rise in the probability of observing longterm inflation rates above 2% in the United States, coinciding with the likely change in the country’s economic policy stance. Changes in the indicators for the euro area have been less pronounced over this period, although a marked drop in the probability of low or negative inflation rates has been observed.

  • 18/05/2017
    Economic and financial performance of Spanish non-financial corporations during the economic crisis and the first years of recovery. A comparative analysis with the euro area (670 KB) Álvaro Menéndez, Anna Gorris and Daniel Dejuán

    This article reports evidence based on firm-level information of the marked deterioration in the economic and financial situation of Spanish companies between 2008 and 2012, which was comparatively sharper in SMEs and in certain sectors such as construction and real estate, and higher than that in other euro area economies.
    However, from 2013 this trend began to reverse and the recovery in activity, stronger on average than in other euro area economies, and the subsequent performance of Spanish firms allowed the previous differences with respect to other euro area countries to diminish.

  • 06/04/2017
    The cost of interventions in the financial sector since 2008 in the EU countries (526 KB) Antonio Millaruelo and Ana del Río

    Since the start of the financial crisis, the advanced countries have deployed numerous measures in support of the financial system, requiring a sizeable volume of public funds. In the EU, aid has been authorised and subject to the conditionality required by the European Commission, in respect of its accountability for competition-related matters.
    This article explains the broad criteria for recording aid in general government accounts and discusses the different ways of measuring its direct cost. On Eurostat figures for the 2008-2015 period, the impact of interventions on general government accounts in terms of debt, debt net of assets, deficits and contingent liabilities are shown for the EU countries.
    Nevertheless, the final cost will not be fully identified until the restructuring processes outstanding have been concluded and the public sector’s remaining exposure to the banking sector has been removed.

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