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Assessing the Equilibrium Exchange Rate of the Cyprus Pound at the time of Euro Adoption

By George Kyriacou and Maria Papageorghiou

Abstract

One of the landmark events in the recent history of Cyprus was the adoption of the euro on 1 January 2008. A crucial element of the preparatory discussions between the Cypriot authorities and the competent European bodies was the search for an agreement on the conversion rate of the Cyprus pound vis-a-vis the euro, which was decided by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) on 10 July 2007. This paper describes part of the work undertaken at the Central Bank of Cyprus as background material for these discussions. Using a qualitative and quantitative approach, the paper suggests that the exchange parity rate of the Cyprus pound vis-a-vis the euro which existed for a number of years prior to euro adoption was broadly in line with economic fundamentals. Evidence examined include the stability of the Cyprus pound vis-a-vis the euro within a credible exchange rate policy framework, robust growth, low levels of unemployment, high Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) coverage of the current account deficit as well as low and stable inflation. This conclusion is also supported by a model-based approach using the Fundamental Equilibrium Exchange Rate (FEER) framework.Equilibrium exchange rate, euro adoption, FEER

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