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A Re-examination of the Predictability of Economic Activity Using the Yield Spread

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  • Hamilton, James Douglas
  • Kim, Dong Heon

Abstract

This paper revisits the yield spread's usefulness for predicting future real GDP growth. We show that the contribution of the spread can be decomposed into the effect of expected future changes in short rates and the effect of the term premium. We find that both factors are relevant for predicting real GDP growth but the respective contributions differ. We investigate whether the cyclical behavior of interest rate volatility could account for either or both effects. We find that while volatility displays important correlations with both the term structure of interest rates and GDP, it does not appear to account for the yield spread's usefulness for predicting GDP growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamilton, James Douglas & Kim, Dong Heon, 2000. "A Re-examination of the Predictability of Economic Activity Using the Yield Spread," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt69v8p1m9, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt69v8p1m9
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    GDP growth; interest rate volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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