CASE Network Reports, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, Macroeconomics and macroeconomic policy, CASE Reports

Measuring financial stress and economic sensitivity in CEE countries

This report presents the methodology for the construction of the Financial Stress Index (FSI) and the Economic Sensitivity Index (ESI) and investigates the economic situation in twelve Central and East European Countries (CEECs) between 2001 and 2012. The objective of this paper was to capture key features of financial and economic vulnerability and examine the co-movement of economic turmoil and financial disturbances that strongly affected the CEECs in the last decade. The main finding is that the FSI can be used as a leading indicator and can be used to recognize changing trends in the index. A shift in the value of the index proves that EU accession has a positive, but minor influence on financial stability in the CEECs. On the other hand, the impact of the introduction of the euro in Estonia, Slovakia and Slovenia is ambiguous.

For most of the countries in our sample, the FSI started to grow rapidly in 2007, reaching its peak around the third quarter of 2008. Consequently, financial stress remained high for a few quarters and started to fall gradually. For a number of countries, we observe higher financial stress in the latest period of our analysis, i.e. 2010-2012. However, the value of the FSI was significantly lower than three years earlier.


The results show that indices might be helpful in predicting future recessions. Consequently, the model will be expanded by adding a forecasting module, the launch of which is planned for April 2014.


The report was prepared thanks to the donation granted by Bank PEKAO S.A.