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Identifying the German Inventory Cycle: A Multivariate Structural Time Series Approach Using Survey Data


  • Langmantel Erich

    () (IFO Institute for Economic Research, Poschingerstr. 5, D-81679 Muenchen, Germany)


Inventory fluctuations play an important role in the formation of business cycles. In Germany, little research has been dedicated to this topic recently. In this study, a structural time series model in the tradition of Harvey (1989) is employed to decompose German inventory investment into trend, cyclical and seasonal components. The empirical findings are compared with the results of theoretical inventory models. The estimations suggest that the German inventory cycle consists of three sub-cycles with periods of one, three and eight years. The three-year cycle of inventory investment corresponds to the well known “Kitchin” cycle and has a significant impact on GDP fluctuations. Adding the inventory assessment variable from the IFO business survey to the model improves the results. It turns out that the inventory assessment variable has properties of a leading indicator. These findings may be useful to improve macroeconomic forecasting

Suggested Citation

  • Langmantel Erich, 2005. "Identifying the German Inventory Cycle: A Multivariate Structural Time Series Approach Using Survey Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 225(6), pages 675-687, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:225:y:2005:i:6:p:675-687

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Georg Goldrian, 2004. "Handbuch der umfragebasierten Konjunkturforschung," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 15, November.
    3. Gebhard Flaig, 2002. "Unoberserved Components Models for Quarterly German GDP," CESifo Working Paper Series 681, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Monika Ruschinski, 2006. "Investigating the Cyclical Properties of World Trade," ifo Working Paper Series 30, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    2. Monika Ruschinski, 2008. "Die deutsche Dienstleistungs- und Warenausfuhr im Rückblick: Gibt es markante Unterschiede im Wachstum?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 61(05), pages 23-29, January.


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