Home Subscribe Login Contact Us Search Journal Articles PFM RSS Feed

PFM Articles Search Journal Articles

Setting Medium-Term Fiscal Targets in the EMU(*)

PFM, Vol. 1 No. 1, (2001)

Under the Stability and Growth Pact, countries are committed to
achieve medium-term budget positions of “close to balance or in surplus”.
The rationale for this commitment is that such budgetary positions would
allow for the full working of the built-in stabilisers without triggering the
sanctions procedures of the Pact. The paper sets out to explore what
factors affect the level of the budgetary target and suggests how the safety
margin for cyclical fluctuations and unforeseen budgetary variability may
be allowed for. All in all, on the basis of past fiscal behaviour, broadly
balanced budgets in the medium term appear to be adequate for most EU
countries in safeguarding the 3% of GDP deficit ceiling. Of course, as the
cyclical behaviour of the euro-area economy adapts to the new EMU
environment, the medium-term targets will need to be addressed again.

Subscribers: Login to read this article

Guests: Subscribe to PFM, or purchase individual article access for $10.
The article is not available for automatic download. We will email the article to you as a PDF file upon receiving your payment, typically within 24 hours.