Monetary policy

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

  • 26/10/2021
    October 2021 Bank Lending Survey in Spain (749 KB) Álvaro Menéndez Pujadas and Maristela Mulino

    According to the Bank Lending Survey, during 2021 Q3 credit standards held stable or tightened slightly, depending on the segment, in both Spain and the euro area. Terms and conditions on new loans appear to have eased slightly in Spain in the two household lending segments, whereas in the euro area they seem to have tightened in loans for house purchase, with no significant changes in the other categories. Loan applications are reported to have increased moderately in the two areas, across almost all segments, in keeping with the recovery in economic activity. Banks in both areas consider that non-standard monetary policy measures were generally conducive to some expansion in the supply of credit and to an increase in the volume of new lending.

  • 07/10/2021
    The role of cryptoassets as legal tender: the example of El Salvador (215 KB) Sergio Gorjón

    On 7 September 2021, El Salvador became the first jurisdiction to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. This initiative has raised as much enthusiasm as it has scepticism and potentially opens the door for other countries to follow suit. The initiative is underpinned by a law passed by the Legislative Assembly, with the more functional aspects left to a series of technical standards drawn up by the Central Bank of El Salvador. To facilitate its operational roll-out, the Government has opted to provide Salvadorans with a digital wallet and has also launched an ambitious educational programme aimed at the population as a whole. International organisations consider that this proposal poses significant risks to the overall economy, potentially compromising the Salvadoran monetary system and the integrity of its financial sector, and undermining the State’s revenue-raising capacity. Many questions remain over the final outcome, which will largely depend on the country’s ability to overcome not only the difficulties evidenced in the initiative’s launch, but also other pre-existing structural shortcomings.

  • 30/09/2021
    Inflation in the United States: recent developments and outlook (935 KB) Fructuoso Borrallo, Alejandro Buesa and Susana Párraga

    Global inflation rates have increased since early 2021, especially in the United States, where there has been an upward surprise in recent months. Part of the US inflation increase is due to a statistical phenomenon stemming from the comparison of current and previous-year prices, which were marked by an across-the-board decline in activity. Further, the economic recovery has prompted a rise in prices in the sectors most affected by the pandemic, it has accentuated certain supply and logistics disruptions, and it has been accompanied by an increase in the price of the energy component. While these factors are considered to be transitory, three upside risks to prices may be identified: first, wage pressures arising from the labour supply and demand mismatch; second, a greater-than-expected inflationary effect of the fiscal stimulus introduced in response to the pandemic; and third, a possible de-anchoring of medium-term inflation expectations. In any event, these transitory effects are expected to feed through relatively moderately to euro area inflation.

  • 08/09/2021
    Overview of global and European institutional sustainable finance initiatives (4 MB) Clara Isabel González Martínez

    To contribute to the fight against climate change and achieve a carbon-neutral economy, a large volume of funds must be mobilised to finance the necessary investment. The international financial system will play a key role in this process to channel the financing, but considerable changes will be needed to develop sustainable financing that is sufficiently standardised and transparent to ensure the efficient allocation of funds to activities identified as sustainable. Since the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda were signed in 2015, work has been undertaken in this respect in various spheres, by the G20, the United Nations, the European Commission and central banks, and also in the financial sector. This article describes the main – public and private – institutional initiatives under way at the global and the European level to achieve the transition needed to address climate change.

  • 08/09/2021
    The role of central banks in combating climate change and developing sustainable finance (408 KB) Clara Isabel González Martínez

    The consequences of climate change affect both the financial system and the economy as a whole. Understanding the attendant risks and meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, so as to restrict the rise in global temperature and mobilise the resources needed to achieve a carbon-neutral economy, is a global challenge for the political and economic authorities. International cooperation is also a must. Central banks are not impervious to these movements and are including on their agendas climate and sustainability-related aspects in various areas, both in the management of own portfolios and in supervision and financial stability. And it is also being discussed how to include these aspects in monetary policy frameworks. While the central role in this arena is, given their nature, for governments, central banks may have an important role as catalysts, leading by example to contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. In Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the National Central Banks (NCBs), including the Banco de España, are working to incorporate these matters into their own business areas.

  • 20/07/2021
    The July 2021 Bank Lending Survey in Spain (674 KB) Álvaro Menéndez Pujadas and Maristela Mulino

    According to the Bank Lending Survey, in 2021 Q2 the changes in credit standards were negligible in Spain and in the euro area, while loan applications increased across the board in the two areas. Compared with prior quarters, these more favourable developments in loan supply and demand appear to be the result of an improved macroeconomic context. The responding banks in the two areas consider that the non-performing loan ratio led the supply of credit to firms to tighten somewhat in 2021 H1, whereas it barely had an impact on the supply of loans to households. Lastly, in 2021 H1 the supply of loans with public guarantees barely changed in Spain, while in the euro area it eased slightly. The demand for this type of lending decreased in the same period in the two areas.

  • 20/04/2021
    April 2021 Bank Lending Survey in Spain (530 KB) Álvaro Menéndez Pujadas and Maristela Mulino

    According to the Bank Lending Survey, during 2021 Q1 the loan supply contracted slightly once again in almost all segments both in Spain and in the euro area, which is linked to banks’ heightened risk perceptions. Loan applications slipped across the board in the two areas. Banks consider that monetary policy measures generally continued to contribute to improving their financial situation and prompted an easing of the terms and conditions on new loans and an increase in lending volumes.

  • 19/01/2021
    January 2021 Bank Lending Survey in Spain (574 KB) Álvaro Menéndez Pujadas and Maristela Mulino

    According to the Bank Lending Survey, during 2020 Q4, both in Spain and in the euro area there was a slight contraction in the credit supply, linked to banks’ higher risk perceptions, against a background of a worsening economic outlook, which was also reflected in lower demand for loans. These trends were recorded in most of the segments analysed. In a similar vein, according to the banks responding, the NPL ratio contributed in both areas to a slight tightening of credit standards in loans to firms and consumer credit and other lending to households. In 2020 H1, credit standards and the terms and conditions on loans with government guarantees eased considerably in both areas, while a contraction was observed in the supply of loans without guarantees in the same period. Furthermore, applications for loans with guarantees rose robustly between January and June, both in Spain and in the euro area, owing to firms’ higher liquidity needs in those months and the need to build up precautionary liquidity buffers, while the demand for loans without guarantees dropped significantly.

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