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Price stability, financial stability and fiscal sustainability are part of the necessary conditions for the balanced development of an economy in the longer run. They can be considered as pillars on which the ‘economic house’ is built. Weakness or fragility of one pillar -e.g. inflation well above target, overvalued asset prices or a high and rising public debt ratio - may impact the solidity of the other pillars and weaken the overall structure. This gives rise to a debate about the nexus between these three conditions. Given these interactions, it is important that each policy -monetary, fiscal, financial stability oriented- is conducted in a way that takes into account its influence on the other objectives. This should enhance overall economic stability.

Price stability, financial stability and fiscal sustainability are part of the necessary conditions for the balanced development of an economy in the longer run.

Price stability corresponds to a rate of inflation that on a sustained basis is in line with the objective of the central bank. The definition of financial stability is more complex. According to the IMF, it refers to the ability of the financial system to perform three tasks. Firstly, facilitating an “efficient allocation of economic resources—both spatially and especially intertemporally—and the effectiveness of other economic processes (such as wealth accumulation, economic growth, and ultimately social prosperity)”. Secondly, assessing, pricing, allocating and managing financial risks. Thirdly, maintaining “its ability to perform these key functions—even when affected by external shocks or by a buildup of imbalances—primarily through self-corrective mechanisms.”

Finally, fiscal sustainability can be associated with a stable public debt to GDP ratio. However, other aspects should also be taken into account: the ratio of debt service to fiscal revenues, the foreign currency share of foreign debt, the sensitivity of debt dynamics to interest rate and growth shocks, the expected impact of population ageing on health care expenditures and pension payments, etc.

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