June 2017

Macroeconomic implications of oil price fluctuations: a regime-switching framework for the euro area

Federic Holm-Hadulla and Kirstin Hubrich


We investigate whether the response of the macro-economy to oil price shocks undergoes episodic changes. Employing a regime-switching vector autoregressive model we identify two regimes that are characterized by qualitatively different patterns in economic activity and inflation following oil price shocks in the euro area. In the 'normal regime', oil price shocks trigger only limited and short-lived adjustments in these variables. In the 'adverse regime', by contrast, oil price shocks are followed by sizeable and sustained macroeconomic fluctuations, with inflation and economic activity moving in the same direction as the oil price. The responses of inflation expectations and wage growth point to second-round effects as a potential driver of the dynamics characterizing the adverse regime. The systematic response of monetary policy works against such second-round effects in the 'adverse regime' but is insufficient to fully offset them. The model also delivers (conditional) probabilities for being (staying) in either regime, which may help interpret oil price fluctuations -- and inform deliberations on the adequate policy response -- in real-time.

Accessible materials (.zip)

Keywords: Regime Switching models, inflation, inflation expectations, oil prices, time-varying transition probabilities

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2017.063

PDF: Full Paper

Back to Top
Last Update: March 18, 2022