Central Bank Profitability and Budget Deficit

Zsuzsanna Novák
PhD, Assistant Professor, Corvinus University of Budapest

Imre Vámos
Auditor, State Audit Office of Hungary

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2014/4 (p. 492-510.)

SUMMARY: This paper investigates central bank profitability primarily focusing on its impact on the government budget. It compares the accounting profit of the four euro area countries running the highest debt and three new EU Member States in the period 1999–2013 following the introduction of the euro. The analysis points out that despite autonomous monetary policy and higher seigniorage revenue, countries with higher levels of (external) government debt, such as Hungary, are often faced with central bank losses. The paper summarises and systematises the main findings of the 2013/I thematic issue of the Public Finance Quarterly titled “Monetary Policy” on the relationship between the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) and the budget. Furthermore, it delineates the European Union’s relevant recognition rules and evaluates the domestic processes in an international context by describing the profitability of the ECB and the selected European central banks.

KEYWORDS: central bank, budget, government debt


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