What Is the Output Gap? - Back to Basics - Finance & Development, September
context, the output gap provides a useful way of thinking about inflationary pressure in the economy. . stable lagged relationship between the estimated output gap CPI non-tradables (weighted median, RHS). Annual % change. % of GDP. The GDP gap or the output gap is the difference between actual GDP or actual output and potential GDP. The calculation for the output gap is Y–Y* where Y is actual output and Y* is potential output. If this calculation yields a positive number it is called an inflationary gap and of U.S. data that shows a correlation between unemployment and GDP. Just as GDP can rise or fall, the output gap can go in two directions: positive and negative. Policymakers often use potential output to gauge inflation and typically The unemployment gap is a concept closely related to the output gap.
A negative gap indicates low demand in the economy. A positive gap can lead to inflation while a negative gap encourages disinflation. Such a relationship, referred to as a Phillips curve, is often seen as a helpful guide for policymakers aiming to maintain low inflation and stable economic growth.
However, the exact empirical relationship between the gap and inflation is not deductible, and has to be derived from existing data.
Additionally, even if the relationship was identified, the operational usefulness of the output gap will remain limited by the timely and reliable estimates of the identified concept. However, according to many economists, none of the methods are satisfactory.
The problem arises from the fact that neither is directly observable, and has to be inferred from existing data using statistical and econometric methods. The problem is compounded by the fact that there is increasing evidence suggesting output series are best characterized as integrated series. However, a number of studies have argued that the size of the revisions made to real-time estimates of the output gap are such that direct information about the output gap should be disregarded, with the extent of underlying demand pressures instead being inferred from real or nominal GDP growth, the acceleration in the inflation rate, or the behavior of domestic costs.
Relationship with crises Economic crises make significant impressions on output gap. A negative gap means that there is spare capacity, or slack, in the economy due to weak demand.
In this context, the output gap is a summary indicator of the relative demand and supply components of economic activity. As such, the output gap measures the degree of inflation pressure in the economy and is an important link between the real side of the economy—which produces goods and services—and inflation. All else equal, if the output gap is positive over time, so that actual output is greater than potential output, prices will begin to rise in response to demand pressure in key markets.
Similarly, if actual output falls below potential output over time, prices will begin to fall to reflect weak demand. Both are central to the conduct of monetary and fiscal policies.
Output gap - Wikipedia
Deviations of the unemployment rate from the NAIRU are associated with deviations of output from its potential level. Theoretically, if policymakers get the actual unemployment rate to equal the NAIRU, the economy will produce at its maximum level of output without straining resources—in other words, there will be no output gap and no inflation pressure.
For many central banks, including the U. Federal Reserve, maintaining full employment is a policy goal. Full employment corresponds to an output gap of zero.
Nearly all central banks seek to keep inflation under control, and the output gap is a key determinant of inflation pressure. For example, fiscal policy that is expansionary—that raises aggregate demand by increasing government spending or lowering taxes—can be used to close a negative output gap. In other words, all else equal, a booming world economy may increase the potential for inflation pressure within a country. For example, stronger global demand for computers raises the price U.
But because all computer producers are facing a stronger global market, U. Hard to measure Measuring the output gap is no easy task. Unlike actual output, the level of potential output and, hence, the output gap cannot be observed directly.