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Divisia monetary aggregates for the GCC countries

Alkhareif, Ryadh and Barnett, William A. (2012): Divisia monetary aggregates for the GCC countries.

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Abstract

This paper builds monthly time-series of Divisia monetary aggregates for the Gulf area for the period of June 2004 to December 2011, using area-wide data. We also offer an "economic stability" indicator for the GCC area by analyzing the dynamics pertaining to certain variables such as the dual price aggregates, aggregate interest rates, and the Divisia aggregate user cost growth rates. Our findings unfold the superiority of the Divisia indexes over the officially published simple-sum monetary aggregates in monitoring the business cycles. There is also direct evidence on higher economic harmonization between GCC countries-- especially in terms of their financial markets and the monetary policy. Monetary policy often uses interest rate rules, when the economy is subject only to technology shocks. In that case, money is nevertheless relevant as an endogenous indicator (Woodford, 2003). Properly weighted monetary aggregates provide critical information to policy makers regarding inside liquidity created by financial intermediaries. In addition, policy rules should include money as well as interest rates, when the economy is subject to monetary shocks as well as technology shocks. The data show narrow aggregates growing while broad aggregates collapsed following the financial crises. This information clearly signals problems with the financial system's ability to create liquidity during the crises.

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