Real Interest Rate Linkages: Testing for Common Trends and Cycles
This paper formed part of the Bank of England's contribution to a study by the G10 Deputies on saving, investment and real interest rates. It investigates a technique which allows economic times series to be decomposed into common trends and common cycles. This is applied to the movements of industrial countries' real interest rates. Two sets of real interest rates are considered: European short maturity rates and G3 long maturity rates. The analysis of European short rates reveals statistical evidence that the German real interest rate is the single dominant common trend and that the two common cycles are represented by the spreads of French and UK rates over German rates. The single common trend remains when the United States is added, but German leadership is then rejected in favour of US leadership. In the G3 long rate system, a single common trend appears to exist only after 1980.
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