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Extracting non-linear signals from several economic indicators


  • Maximo Camacho

    (Universidad de Murcia)

  • Gabriel Perez-Quiros

    () (Banco de España)

  • Pilar Poncela

    (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)


We develop a twofold analysis of how the information provided by several economic indicators can be used in Markov-switching dynamic factor models to identify the business cycle turning points. First, we compare the performance of a fully non-linear multivariate specification (one-step approach) with the “shortcut” of using a linear factor model to obtain a coincident indicator which is then used to compute the Markov-switching probabilities (two-step approach). Second, we examine the role of increasing the number of indicators. Our results suggest that one step is generally preferred to two steps, although its marginal gains diminish as the quality of the indicators increases and as more indicators are used to identify the non-linear signal. Using the four constituent series of the Stock-Watson coincident index, we illustrate these results for US data.

Suggested Citation

  • Maximo Camacho & Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Pilar Poncela, 2012. "Extracting non-linear signals from several economic indicators," Working Papers 1202, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:1202

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sichel, Daniel E, 1994. "Inventories and the Three Phases of the Business Cycle," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 269-277, July.
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    5. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2006. "Are more data always better for factor analysis?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 169-194, May.
    6. 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.
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    8. Scott Brave & R. Andrew Butters, 2010. "Gathering insights on the forest from the trees: a new metric for financial conditions," Working Paper Series WP-2010-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    9. Aruoba, S. BoraÄŸan & Diebold, Francis X. & Scotti, Chiara, 2009. "Real-Time Measurement of Business Conditions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 417-427.
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    11. James Morley & Jeremy M. Piger, 2005. "The importance of nonlinearity in reproducing business cycle features," Working Papers 2004-032, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    12. Hamilton, James D., 2011. "Calling recessions in real time," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 1006-1026, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maximo Camacho & Jaime Martinez-Martin, 2014. "Real-time forecasting US GDP from small-scale factor models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 347-364, August.
    2. Ruiz Ortega, Esther & Vicente Maldonado, Javier de, 2017. "Accurate Subsampling Intervals of Principal Components Factors," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS 23974, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.
    3. repec:eee:ecolet:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:45-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Heinrich, Markus & Carstensen, Kai & Reif, Magnus & Wolters, Maik, 2017. "Predicting Ordinary and Severe Recessions with a Three-State Markov-Switching Dynamic Factor Model. An Application to the German Business Cycle," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168206, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Guérin, Pierre & Leiva-Leon, Danilo, 2017. "Model averaging in Markov-switching models: Predicting national recessions with regional data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 45-49.
    6. Fiorentini, Gabriele & Planas, Christophe & Rossi, Alessandro, 2016. "Skewness and kurtosis of multivariate Markov-switching processes," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 153-159.
    7. Camacho, Maximo & Perez Quiros, Gabriel & Poncela, Pilar, 2014. "Green shoots and double dips in the euro area: A real time measure," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 520-535.
    8. Gabriele Fiorentini & Enrique Sentana, 2013. "Dynamic Specification Tests for Dynamic Factor Models," Working Papers wp2013_1306, CEMFI.

    More about this item


    Business cycles; output growth; time series;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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