Estimating the size of the European stimulus packages for 2009: an Update.

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Series Details No. 2, February 2009
Publication Date February 2009
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[Introduction]. In December 2008, the European Council agreed on an EU‐wide economic stimulus of “around € 200 billion”. However, this agreement is not very specific in two important respects. First, it is unclear which country is to contribute how much to the roughly €170 billion part of the fiscal stimulus that is to be effected by member states, with the remaining €30 billion to be contributed at the EU level. Second, there is no clear timeline detailing which part of the stimulus is to be delivered by when. However, both the geography and the timing of the European stimulus are important dimensions when trying to assess the likely economic impact of the pact and the progress towards it implementation. In order to contribute to the debate on the geography and timing of the stimulus, we presented a first estimate of the size of fiscal stimuli that had recently been proposed by member states (and had, in some cases, already been adopted) just in time for the European Council. The present update of that earlier paper simply presents the latest breakdown of the fiscal stimuli in member states using thesame methodology as before. In addition, an heroic attempt is made to compare the total European package for 2009 to the stimulus packages set to be implemented in theUS and China. To keep the complexity of the EU side of the exercise manageable, we only take into account the 13 largest economies in the EU that make up more than 90 percent of the EU’s GDP, plus the planned boost at the Community level. Despite this simplification, the task of estimating the size of the different programmes remains challenging, not least because of the great variety of different instruments used and the rapid evolution of national debates.

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