The economic shock from the war in Ukraine is forcing Europe to face difficult policy choices, according to Olivier Blanchard and Jean Pisani-Ferry. Governments must decide how best to soften the blow of higher energy and food prices, and how much to rely on debt finance. The European Central Bank must decide how to balance the fight against inflation with the need to sustain aggregate demand, in the face of decreases in real income. The authors analyze the impact of the war on the European economy, discuss the pros and cons of policy options, and call for coherence in balancing sanctions, fiscal measures, and monetary policy. They argue for the use of transfers rather than across-the-board subsidies and point to the room for debt finance. They show the potential role of tripartite wage agreement and also argue that monetary policy can remain on its current trajectory but be ready to adjust.
The data underlying this analysis can be downloaded here [zip].