Business cycles and trends in Germany and Portugal: macroeconomic policy implications in the Euro Area

Leonardo Costa, Francisca Guedes de Oliveira*, Alexandra Leitão, José Paredes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We describe the neoclassical view of the business cycle by European Institutions in the Euro Area, and derive the stylized facts of business cycles and trends for Germany and Portugal in the period 1991–2018. The data are extracted from the European Commission’s AMECO database. To separate cycle and trend, we use the decomposition available in the AMECO database for the output, and the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the other variables. The results show that the amplitude of the business cycle and persistence of shocks are greater in Portugal than in Germany. They also show that the stylized facts of the business cycles of the two economies are quite different. Moreover, common shocks have asymmetric consequences. In the long run, there has been a convergence of inflation, general government structural balances, and real unit labour costs, but general government consolidated gross debt, fixed investment, and per capita potential GDP have been increasingly diverging, despite the behaviour of real wages and net exports in the two countries. Additionally, temporary shocks have permanent effects on the Portuguese economy. The results raise questions about the place-neutral macroeconomic policy enforced by the European institutions in the Euro Area, particularly in what concerns cohesion Member States.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-680
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Core and periphery
  • Euro Area
  • Macroeconomic policy
  • Place-based approach
  • Stylized facts


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