Causal Links Between US Economic Sectors
In this paper, we perform a comparative segmentation and clustering analysis of the time series for the ten Dow Jones US economic sector indices between 14 February 2000 and 31 August 2008. From the temporal distributions of clustered segments, we find that the US economy took one and a half years to recover from the mid-1998-to-mid-2003 financial crisis, but only two months to completely enter the present financial crisis. We also find the oil & gas and basic materials sectors leading the recovery from the previous financial crisis, while the consumer goods and utilities sectors led the descent into the present financial crisis. On a macroscopic level, we find sectors going earlier into a crisis emerge later from it, whereas sectors going later into the crisis emerge earlier. On the mesoscopic level, we find leading sectors experiencing stronger and longer volatility shocks, while trailing sectors experience weaker and shorter volatility shocks. In our shock-by-shock causal-link analysis, we also find shorter delays between corresponding shocks in more closely related economic sectors. In addition, our analysis reveals evidences for complex sectorial structures, as well as nonlinear amplification in the propagating volatility shocks. From a perspective relevant to public policy, our study suggests an endogeneous sectorial dynamics during the mid-2003 economic recovery, in contrast to strong exogeneous driving by Federal Reserve interest rate cuts during the mid-2007 onset. Most interestingly, we find for the sequence of closely spaced interest rate cuts instituted in 2007/2008, the first few cuts effectively lowered market volatilities, while the next few cuts counter-effectively increased market volatilities. Subsequent cuts evoked little response from the market.
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