Fiscal and Current Account Imbalances: The Cases of Germany and Portugal
This study’s aim is a comparative analysis between Portugal and Germany regarding the existence of a bidirectional relationship between the budget balance and the current account balance, starting with the introduction of the Euro (1999 and 2002, respectively) to the end of 2020. While the analysis finds a bilateral relationship, it shows that the budget balance and the current account balance for each country have similar and distinct developments, reflecting the distinct characteristics of each economy. One of the most striking findings is that the response of the budget balance to the current account balance is higher in Germany than in Portugal. In addition, public debt as a percentage of GDP positively affects the current account balance in Portugal, but not in Germany. This can be linked to the fact that the debt-to-GDP ratio is higher in Portugal, according to the authors.