Thursday, July 7, 2011

07/07/2011: What's in the interest rates hikes

Working away on the data for PIIGS, I was interested in a question, what if the ECB were to go to the equilibrium repo rate consistent with the current inflation & growth environment?

In a recent post (here) I did analysis of the ECB historical rates in relation to eurocoin leading indicator of growth. This chart is reproduced here with suggested ranges for the repo rates consistent with current and with higher inflation.
So if the equilibrium rates are in the neighborhood of 2.25-2.75 percent, what would 1% increase in interest rates from June 2011 rate of 1.25% do to the cost of fiscal debts financing across the PIIGS?

Using IMF projections for debt levels for PIIGS through 2016 and assuming that all interest payments are financed out of deficits / borrowing, the chart below shows the extent of the increase in the cost of interest charges on government debt by 2016:
This translates into an increase in the annual cost per capita (2016 forecast) of:
  • €560.48 in Greece
  • €834.84 in Ireland
  • €546.74 in Italy
  • €309.24 in Portugal
  • €319.02 in Spain
Overall, the increases in interest costs for PIIGS will amount to ca €47.06 billion per annum or 1.23% of the PIIGS GDP and 0.44% of the Euro area GDP. Oh, and by the way, this does not take into account the additional costs of financing banks lending by the ECB.

So that should put into perspective my view of today's hike in the ECB rate, expressed earlier here. So happy wrecking ball swinging, Mr Tri(pe)chet & Co.
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