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When an economic supply or demand shock is different from one region to another, or when the shocks do not move in tandem.
Example: If Germany has a positive aggregate demand shock and France has a negative aggregate demand shock, then these two countries are experiencing asymmetric shocks.
- Having similar, or symmetric, shocks is one of the criteria of an optimal currency area.
- Asymmetric shocks make it difficult for the central bank of a monetary union to conduct monetary policy that is beneficial to each member of the union.