08 Aug 2013
Identifying leading indicators of real activity and inflation for Turkey, 1988-2010
Sumru Altug, Erhan Uluceviz
This paper develops a set of leading indicators for industrial production growth and changes in consumer price inflation by accounting for changes in the policy regime that have occurred for the Turkish economy over the sample period 1988-2010. The choice of indicators is based on a pseudo out-of-sample forecasting exercise that is implemented by Leigh and Rossi (2002), and Stock and Watson (2003), amongst others. Our findings provide evidence on the factors determining changes in real activity and inflation over an extended sample period that encompasses episodes of volatile inflation and output growth as well as the recent experience of disinflation and normalisation for the Turkish economy.
Keywords: Real activity, inflation, leading indicators, out-of-sample forecasting, combination forecasts, inflation targeting, Turkey.
JEL classification: E1, E32, E37, E58, F43, O52
19 July 2013
The Portuguese stock market cycle
This paper tries to identify, for the first time, a chronology for the Portuguese stock market cycle and test for the presence of duration dependence in bull and bear markets. A duration-dependent Markov-switching model is estimated over monthly growth rates of the Portuguese stock index for the period January 1989 to April 2012. Six episodes of bull/bear markets are identified during that period, as well as the presence of positive duration dependence in bear but not in bull markets.
19 July 2013
Business cycle synchronisation in the European Union
In this paper, I analyse the synchronisation of business cycles within the European Union (EU), as this is an important ingredient for the implementation of a successful monetary policy. The business cycles of twelve EU countries and two sub-groups of countries are extracted for the period 1989Q1-2010Q2. The cycle of G3, the group of the three largest European economies (Germany, France and Italy) is then used as a benchmark series for the comparisons. The sensitivity of the data to alternative cycle extraction methodologies is explored employing the Hodrick-Prescott and Baxter-King filters using alternative parameter specifications and leads/lags. The strength of cycle synchronisation is measured using linear regressions, crosscorrelation coefficients and the Cycle Synchronisation Index (CSI). To assess whether synchronisation is stronger after the introduction of the common currency, we also test two sub-samples pre- and post-EMU (1999Q1). The empirical results provide evidence that cycle synchronisation within the euro area has become stronger in the common currency period.
19 July 2013
A note on the cyclical behaviour of the income distribution
Empirically, the income share is procyclical for the low-income groups and acyclical for the top 5%. To generate this kind of behaviour in a DGE business cycle model, we consider overlapping generations and elastic labour supply in addition to those elements considered by Castañeda et al. (1998). We also analyse a model with rigid wages. However, these features do not help to constitute a major improvement vis-a-vis their model.
JEL classification: C68, D31, E32
Keywords: Income distribution, business cycle, overlapping generations, unemployment, pensions
19 July 2013
Extracting GDP signals from the monthly indicator of economic activity
Real-time data are analysed for information on the Chilean monthly economic activity indicator IMACEC and what it indicates of the final GDP, defined as the growth rate that has been subject to at least two annual revisions. Data are presented and revisions analysed briefly. Mincer-Zarnowitz tests suggest that forecast rationality is rejected with respect to the three-month IMACEC growth rate as a nowcast of the first released quarterly GDP, as well as the first published GDP as a nowcast of the final GDP.
An out-of-sample nowcasting analysis was conducted using only data which were available in real-time. The results show that small models nowcast better than less parsimonious ones. The evidence from the empirical study suggests no improvement in the nowcasting performance when historical data are supplemented with the first monthly IMACEC of the quarter. On the other hand, when two monthly observations IMACEC are available, the root mean squared nowcast error (RMSNE) decreases by 24%, and a further decline of 33% is obtained when the third monthly observation of the quarter is published. Both of these advances are statistically significant. No further improvement is obtained with the publication of the first release of the quarterly GDP.
JEL classifications: C89, E17
Keywords: Real-time data, data revisions, nowcasting
28 May 2013
Heuristic model selection for leading indicators in Russia and Germany
Ivan Savin, Peter Winker
Business tendency survey indicators are widely recognised as a key instrument for business cycle forecasting. Their leading indicator property is assessed with regard to forecasting industrial production in Russia and Germany. For this purpose, vector autoregressive (VAR) models are specified and estimated to construct forecasts. As the potential number of lags included is large, we compare full-specified VAR models with subset models obtained using a Genetic Algorithm enabling "holes" in multivariate lag structures. The problem is complicated by the fact that a structural break and seasonal variation of indicators have to be taken into account. The models allow for a comparison of the dynamic adjustment and the forecasting performance of the leading indicators for both countries revealing marked differences between Russia and Germany.
JEL classification: C52, C61, E37
Keywords: Leading indicators, business cycle forecasts, VAR, model selection, genetic algorithms
28 May 2013
Constructing coincident and leading indices of economic activity for the Brazilian economy
João Victor Issler, Hilton Hostalacio Notini, Claudia Fontoura Rodrigues
This paper has three original contributions. The first is the reconstruction effort of the series of employment and income to allow the creation of a new coincident index for the Brazilian economic activity. The second is the construction of a coincident index of the economic activity for Brazil, and from it, (re) establish a chronology of recessions in the recent past of the Brazilian economy. The coincident index follows the methodology proposed by The Conference Board (TCB) and it covers the period 1980:1 to 2007:11. The third is the construction and evaluation of many leading indicators of economic activity for Brazil which fills an important gap in the Brazilian Business-Cycle literature.
Keywords: Coincident and Leading Indicators, Business Cycles, Common Features, Latent Factor Analysis
JEL codes: C32, E32