Press Releases

Monetary developments: APRIL 2000

02/06/2000 - Press Releases

The twelve-month rate of increase in the liquidity indicator M4N, which is monitored by the Bank of Greece, accelerated in April 2000. Specifically, M4N (which comprises currency in circulation, private deposits in drachmas and foreign currency, as well as private holdings of repos, bank bonds, money market fund units and government paper issued with a maturity of up to one year) rose as follows:

12-month percentage changes

February

2000

March

2000

April

2000

February-April 2000 average

M4N

4.7%(1)

5.4% (1),(2)

9.4%(1)

6.5% (1)

The increase in the twelve-month growth rate of M4N in April 2000 is related to faster credit expansion to the public and private sectors in that month. The significant acceleration of the growth rate of M4N reflects the impact of special factors, notably the large number of bank holidays concentrated towards the end of the month and the resulting delay in cheque clearing, as a consequence of which sight deposits appear increased at end-April. Furthermore, substantial private portfolio restructuring occurred in April, involving shifts from bonds and stocks to repos. For a more accurate assessment of recent trends in monetary aggregates, data derived by using moving averages that smooth out the impact of irregular factors are required. In this respect, the three-month average of the annual growth rates of M4N covering the period from February to April 2000 period stood at 6.5 per cent, compared with 5.3 per cent in the period from January to March 2000, 6.3 per cent in the last quarter of 1999 and a reference range of 5-7 per cent for M4N growth between the beginning and the end of the current year. It should be noted that the European Central Bank, in addition to twelve-month rates of change in monetary aggregates over the last months, also reports data and comments on the average annual rate in the last three-month period.

Regarding the evolution of key M4N components, the twelve-month rate of increase in currency in circulation accelerated (April 2000: 10.8 per cent, March 2000: 4.8 per cent), owing to increased holdings of banknotes in April, as the Easter holiday coincided with the end of the month (30 April) this year, i.e. later than last year’s date (11 April). An acceleration was also observed in the twelve-month rate of increase in private deposits (April 2000: 11.4 per cent, March 2000: 9.6 per cent). Private holdings of repos demonstrated a considerable further increase of 450 billion drachmas, given their higher yields relative to deposits and Treasury bills. Private holdings of money market fund units increased substantially (by 272 billion drachmas). By contrast, private holdings of government paper issued with a maturity of up to one year decreased by 216 billion drachmas. As noted in previous press releases, changes in individual M4N components reflect, to a large extent, intra-M4N shifts which do not affect total M4N.

Notes: (1) Provisional data.

(2) Revised data.

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