IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Economic indicators for the US transportation sector


  • Lahiri, Kajal
  • Yao, Vincent Wenxiong


Since the transportation sector plays an important role in business cycle propagation, we develop indicators for this sector to identify its current state, and predict its future. We define the reference cycle, including both business and growth cycles, for this sector over the period from 1979 using both the conventional National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) method and modern time series models. A one-to-one correspondence between cycles in the transportation sector and those in the aggregate economy is found; however, both business and growth cycles of transportation often start earlier and end later than those of the overall economy. We also construct an index of leading indicators for the transportation sector using rigorous statistical procedures, and is found to perform well as a forecasting tool.

Suggested Citation

  • Lahiri, Kajal & Yao, Vincent Wenxiong, 2006. "Economic indicators for the US transportation sector," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 872-887, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:40:y:2006:i:10:p:872-887

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 2004. "How costly is it to ignore breaks when forecasting the direction of a time series?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 411-425.
    2. Roy Batchelor, 2001. "Confidence indexes and the probability of recession: a Markov switching model," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 107-124, January.
    3. Humphreys, Brad R. & Maccini, Louis J. & Schuh, Scott, 2001. "Input and output inventories," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 347-375, April.
    4. Harding, Don & Pagan, Adrian, 2002. "Dissecting the cycle: a methodological investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 365-381, March.
    5. Kajal Lahiri & Wenxiong Yao, 2004. "The predictive power of an experimental transportation output index," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 149-152.
    6. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    7. Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1991. "Taking Stock: A Critical Assessment of Recent Research on Inventories," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
    8. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1998. "Business Cycle Turning Points, A New Coincident Index, And Tests Of Duration Dependence Based On A Dynamic Factor Model With Regime Switching," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 188-201, May.
    9. Moses Abramovitz, 1950. "Inventories and Business Cycles, with Special Reference to Manufacturer's Inventories," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra50-1, January.
    10. Kajal Lahiri & Herman O. Stekler & Wenxiong Yao & Peg Young, 2003. "Monthly Output Index for the U.S. Transportation Sector," Discussion Papers 03-12, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    11. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, January.
    12. Victor Zarnowitz, 1992. "Business Cycles: Theory, History, Indicators, and Forecasting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number zarn92-1, January.
    13. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1, January.
    14. Layton, Allan P & Moore, Geoffrey H, 1989. "Leading Indicators for the Service Sector," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(3), pages 379-386, July.
    15. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Foreword to "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs"," NBER Chapters,in: Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs, pages -1 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Peter Temin, 1998. "Causes of American business cycles: an essay in economic historiography," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 42(Jun), pages 37-64.
    17. Peter Temin, 1998. "The Causes of American Business Cycles: An Essay in Economic Historiography," NBER Working Papers 6692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hultkrantz, Lars & A. Krüger, Niclas & Mantalos, Panagiotis, 2014. "Risk-adjusted long-term social rates of discount for transportation infrastructure investment," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 70-81.
    2. Krüger, Niclas A., 2012. "Estimating traffic demand risk – A multiscale analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1741-1751.
    3. Andersson, Fredrik N G & Elger, Thomas, 2007. "Freight Transportation Activity, Business Cycles and Trend Growth," Working Papers 2007:15, Lund University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:40:y:2006:i:10:p:872-887. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.