Great Graphic: QE Relative to GDP

This Great Graphic or some version of it has been circulating since the BOJ's announcement last week. This version was on Sober Outlook, who took it from Credit Suisse. It shows the growth of central bank balance sheets relative to nominal GDP.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Fed has been the least aggressive central bank since late 2011. 

I was at a conference last week, several hours after the BOJ's decision that essentially doubled up on its QE efforts, and a fellow panelist argued that the data should be shown in absolute terms.  If this were so, the Fed would look the most aggressive because the US is the world's largest economy.  Japan's economy is roughly 40% the size of the US and the UK economy is about 1/6 the size.  In addition, the aggressiveness of the BOJ would not be appreciated.  

In the forecasting part of the chart, there are a few assumptions that should be teased out.  First, that the ECB's balance sheet has peaked and it is projected to gradually drift lower.  This seems to preclude the OMT from being triggered.  It assumes no new LTRO and only light LTRO re-payments.  Second, it assumes that the BOE resumes some form of QE under the next governor (if not before).  Third, it appears to be anticipating the continuation of QE by the Federal Reserve through the end of this year and only a gradual reduction (via maturiities?) in 2014.  
Great Graphic: QE Relative to GDP Great Graphic:  QE Relative to GDP Reviewed by Marc Chandler on April 10, 2013 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.