Covid-19 and the monetary-fiscal policy nexus in Africa

BIS Papers  |  No 121  | 
10 February 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic reinforced the already close interactions between monetary and fiscal policies in Africa. Policymakers provided support to their economies in a coordinated way. Both policies were countercyclical and complementary. Central banks reacted more forcefully than fiscal authorities, as high debt constrained the fiscal response.  The tighter fiscal-monetary policy nexus – while effective in facing the pandemic shock – presents risks for the future. The worsening fiscal situation represents a major challenge, not least for central banks. Against a backdrop of inflationary pressures and subdued recovery, political pressures could weigh on the management of monetary policy and generate tensions between policymakers. For central banks, reasserting the paramount importance of the goal of price stability is essential in order to reaffirm solid boundaries between fiscal and monetary policy, and to fend off fiscal dominance risks.

JEL classification: E32, E58, E61, H30.

Keywords: central banks, fiscal policy, policy interactions, Covid-19, Africa.