In this paper, we highlight the role of global value chains in the synchronization of economic activity between countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the euro area. We start off by demonstrating that the degree of synchronization of the business cycles of CEE countries and their main trade partners from the euro area has increased in recent years. We next show that the cyclical fluctuations of GDP in CEE countries are strongly influenced by pro-cyclical movements of changes in inventories. We then present evidence of the importance of cross border production chains for the economies of CEE countries. We build on these findings to show that the propagation of changes in demand for imports along global supply chains—linked to technological requirements and inventory stock adjustments—contributes to the synchronization of economic activity across Europe. We also show evidence that CEE exporters have started to set up their own value chains in the CEE region.
business cycle CEE Central and Eastern European countries cross-border production chains global value chains inventories