n Studies in Economics and Econometrics - Money supply and economic activity in South Africa - the relationship updated to 2011

Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0379-6205


This paper reconsiders the relationship between measures of money and measures of economic activity in the South African economy and the role of the Reserve Bank in moderating South African economic cycles. By using data for the past twenty years, the earlier analysis is updated and reassessed so that it is possible to see if the fundamental relationships between money, credit and economic activity have changed and whether the role of the Reserve Bank in managing economic activity has become more pivotal and constructive. One important difference noted is that broadly defined money (M3) does better in explaining economic activity between 2000 and 2011 than narrowly defined money. The opposite is true for the earlier sub-periods. The paper utilises a model of the money supply process to explain why the relationship between narrowly and broadly defined money changed after the year 2000 with regulations that encouraged the banks to reduce their demands for cash leading to an increase in the money multiplier. The paper concludes that the ability of the SA Reserve Bank to moderate the money and bank credit cycles, utilising interest rates as the primary instrument of monetary policy, remains as elusive as ever.

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