This paper analyzes the dynamic response of loans to the private sector and of economic activity to aggregate supply, demand and monetary policy shocks in Germany and the euro area based on a standard macroeconomic VAR using sign restrictions to identify the structural shocks. The main results of this analysis are that (i) with the exception of the response to the supply shock in Germany, the response of loans to the three macroeconomic shocks is rather weak and in most cases insignificant; (ii) the 2000-05 credit slowdown and weak economic performance in Germany were primarily driven by adverse supply shocks; and (iii) the marked slowdown in credit creation in Germany over this period actually represents a realignment of the outstanding stock of loans with its deterministic level. In order to assess the role of bank lending in the transmission of macroeconomic shocks, we further perform counterfactual simulations and analyze the dynamic responses of German loan subaggregates in order to test the distributional implications of potential credit market frictions. These exercises do not indicate that credit market frictions play an amplifying role in the transmission of macroeconomic fluctuations.
© 2019 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston