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Forecasting recessions in real time

We review several methods to define and forecast classical business cycle turning points in Norway. In the paper we compare the Bry - Boschan rule (BB) with a Markov Switching model (MS), using alternative vintages of Norwegian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the business cycle indicator. The timing of business cycles depends on the vintage and the method used. BB provides the most reasonable definition of business cycles. The forecasting exercise, where the models are augmented with surveys or financial indicators, respectively, leads to the conclusion that the BB rule applied to density forecasts of GDP augmented with either the consumer confidence index or a financial conditions index provides the most timely predictions of peaks. For troughs, augmenting with surveys or financial indicators does not increase forecastability.

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File URL: http://www.norges-bank.no/en/Published/Papers/Working-Papers/2014/201402/
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Paper provided by Norges Bank in its series Working Paper with number 2014/02.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 13 Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2014_02
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  10. Michael P. Clements & Hans-Martin Krolzig, 1998. "A comparison of the forecast performance of Markov-switching and threshold autoregressive models of US GNP," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 1(Conferenc), pages C47-C75.
  11. Knut Are Aastveit & Karsten R. Gerdrup & Anne Sofie Jore & Leif Anders Thorsrud, 2011. "Nowcasting GDP in Real-Time: A Density Combination Approach," Working Papers 0003, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
  12. Billio, Monica & Casarin, Roberto & Ravazzolo, Francesco & van Dijk, Herman K., 2012. "Combination schemes for turning point predictions," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 402-412.
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  15. 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, August.
  16. Randi Næs & Johannes A. Skjeltorp & Bernt Arne Ødegaard, 2011. "Stock Market Liquidity and the Business Cycle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(1), pages 139-176, 02.
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  18. Gary Koop & Markus Jochmann & Rodney W. Strachan, 2008. "Bayesian Forecasting using Stochastic Search Variable Selection in a VAR Subject to Breaks," Working Paper Series 19-08, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2008.
  19. Abberger, Klaus, 2007. "Qualitative business surveys and the assessment of employment -- A case study for Germany," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 249-258.
  20. Hansson, Jesper & Jansson, Per & Lof, Marten, 2005. "Business survey data: Do they help in forecasting GDP growth?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 377-389.
  21. Chauvet, Marcelle, 1998. "An Econometric Characterization of Business Cycle Dynamics with Factor Structure and Regime Switching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 969-96, November.
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  23. Sydney C. Ludvigson & Serena Ng, 2009. "Macro Factors in Bond Risk Premia," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 5027-5067, December.
  24. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  25. 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.
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