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Does the yield spread predict real economic activity? : a multicountry analysis

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  • Catherine Bonser-Neal
  • Timothy R. Morley

Abstract

This article evaluates the ability of the yield spread to forecast real economic activity in 11 industrial countries. The first section of this article defines the yield spread and explains why the spread may be a useful predictor of real economic activity. The second section describes the data and criteria used to evaluate the predictive power of the yield spread. The third section examines whether yield spreads have reliably forecast real economic activity in the 11 countries, using several measures of real economic activity and alternative forecast horizons. The empirical results indicate the yield spread is a statistically and economically significant predictor of real economic activity in several industrial countries besides the United States. In addition, the yield spread forecasting model generally outperforms two alternative forecasting models in predicting future real GDP growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Bonser-Neal & Timothy R. Morley, 1997. "Does the yield spread predict real economic activity? : a multicountry analysis," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 37-53.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:1997:i:qiii:p:37-53:n:v.82no.3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    2. Michael J. Dueker, 1997. "Strengthening the case for the yield curve as a predictor of U.S. recessions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 41-51.
    3. Estrella, Arturo & Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1991. " The Term Structure as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 555-576, June.
    4. Zuliu Hu, 1993. "The Yield Curve and Real Activity," IMF Working Papers 93/19, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Zuliu Hu, 1993. "The Yield Curve and Real Activity," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(4), pages 781-806, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Esther Fernández Galar & Javier Gómez Biscarri, 2003. "Revisiting the Ability of Interest Rate Spreads to Predict Recessions: Evidence for a," Faculty Working Papers 04/03, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
    2. repec:bis:bisbps:95 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Franck Sédillot, 2001. "La pente des taux contient-elle de l'information sur l'activité économique future ?," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 147(1), pages 141-157.
    4. Arnaud Mehl, 2009. "The Yield Curve as a Predictor and Emerging Economies," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 20(5), pages 683-716, November.
    5. Hamilton, James D & Kim, Dong Heon, 2002. "A Reexamination of the Predictability of Economic Activity Using the Yield Spread," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 340-360, May.
    6. Mateus A. Feitosa & Benjamin M. Tabak, 2007. "Predictability Of Economic Activity Using Yield Spreads: The Case Of Brazil," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 029, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    7. Matthew C. Li, 2014. "The US zero-coupon yield spread as a predictor of excess daily stock market volatility," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(13), pages 889-906, July.
    8. Gomez-Biscarri, Javier, 2008. "Changes in the informational content of term spreads: Is monetary policy becoming less effective?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 60(5), pages 415-435.
    9. Stijn Claessens & M Ayhan Kose, 2017. "Asset prices and macroeconomic outcomes: a survey," BIS Working Papers 676, Bank for International Settlements.
    10. repec:eee:quaeco:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:363-377 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Nakaota, Hiroshi, 2005. "The term structure of interest rates in Japan: the predictability of economic activity," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 311-326, August.
    12. Luis E Arango & Luz Adriana Flórez & Angélica M Arosemena, 2005. "El Tramo Corto de la Estructura a Plazo como Predictor de Expectativas de la Actividad Económica en Colombia," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 42(125), pages 79-101.
    13. Chikashi Tsuji, 2005. "Does the term structure predict real economic activity in Japan?," Applied Financial Economics Letters, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 1(4), pages 249-257, July.
    14. Noor Ghazali & Soo-Wah Low, 2002. "The expectation hypothesis in emerging financial markets: the case of Malaysia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(9), pages 1147-1156.
    15. Ahrens, R., 2002. "Predicting recessions with interest rate spreads: a multicountry regime-switching analysis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 519-537, August.
    16. James H. Stock & Mark W.Watson, 2003. "Forecasting Output and Inflation: The Role of Asset Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 788-829, September.
    17. Michael Dotsey, 1998. "The predictive content of the interest rate term spread for future economic growth," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 31-51.
    18. Georgopoulos, George & Hejazi, Walid, 2009. "Financial structure and the heterogeneous impact of monetary policy across industries," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-33.
    19. Fabio Moneta, 2005. "Does the Yield Spread Predict Recessions in the Euro Area?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 263-301, August.
    20. Andrea Nobili, 2005. "Forecasting Output Growth And Inflation In The Euro Area: Are Financial Spreads Useful?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 544, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    21. Benati, Luca & Goodhart, Charles, 2008. "Investigating time-variation in the marginal predictive power of the yield spread," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1236-1272, April.
    22. Rajan Goyal & K. Kanagasabapathy, 2002. "Yield Spread as a Leading Indicator of Real Economic Activity; An Empirical Exercise on the Indian Economy," IMF Working Papers 02/91, International Monetary Fund.
    23. Mario Reyna Cerecero & Diana Salazar Cavazos & Héctor Salgado Banda, 2008. "The Yield Curve and its Relation with Economic Activity: The Mexican Case," Working Papers 2008-15, Banco de México.

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