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The Information Content of Capacity Utilisation Rates for Output Gap Estimates

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Listed:
  • Michael Graff
  • Jan-Egbert Sturm

Abstract

From a theoretical perspective, the output gap is probably the most comprehensive and convincing concept to describe the cyclical position of an economy. Unfortunately, for practical purposes, the concept depends on the determination of potential output, which is an inherently unobservable variable. In this paper, we examine whether the real-time estimates of the output gap as published by the OECD can be improved by referring to measures of physical capital capacity utilisation from business tendency surveys. These data relate directly to the stress on the current capacity to produce goods and services and are not revised. Our real-time panel data set comprises 22 countries at an annual frequency with data vintages from 1995 to 2009. We show that the real-time output gaps are informationally inefficient in the sense that survey data available in real time can help produce estimates that are significantly closer to later releases of output gap estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Graff & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2010. "The Information Content of Capacity Utilisation Rates for Output Gap Estimates," CESifo Working Paper Series 3276, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3276
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Simon van Norden, 2002. "Filtering for Current Analysis," Staff Working Papers 02-28, Bank of Canada.
    2. Nicolas Cuche-Curti & Pamela Hall & Attilio Zanetti, 2009. "Swiss GDP revisions: A monetary policy perspective," OECD Journal: Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2008(2), pages 183-213.
    3. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & McDermott, C John & Prasad, Eswar S, 2000. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries: Some Stylized Facts," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 251-285, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Heiner Mikosch, 2012. "Sticky Prices, Competition and the Phillips Curve," KOF Working papers 11-294, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    2. Giuseppe Bertola & John Driffill & Harold James & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Ákos Valentinyi, 2014. "Chapter 3: Austerity: Hurting but Helping," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 75-90, February.
    3. repec:eee:intfor:v:33:y:2017:i:4:p:878-893 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dan Armeanu & Georgiana Camelia Crețan & Leonard Lache & Mihaela Mitroi, 2015. "Estimating Potential GDP for the Romanian Economy and Assessing the Sustainability of Economic Growth: A Multivariate Filter Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-21, March.
    5. Michael Graff, 2012. "Internationale Konjunkturverbunde und die Schweiz," KOF Analysen, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, vol. 6(2), pages 57-71, June.
    6. repec:kap:empiri:v:45:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10663-016-9346-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Daragh Clancy, 2013. "Output Gap Estimation Uncertainty: Extracting the TFP Cycle Using an Aggregated PMI Series," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(1), pages 1-18.
    8. Judzik, Dario & Sala, Hector, 2015. "The determinants of capital intensity in Japan and the US," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 78-98.
    9. repec:spr:jbuscr:v:12:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s41549-016-0004-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jaqueson K. Galimberti & Marcelo L. Moura, 2011. "Improving the reliability of real-time Hodrick-Prescott filtering using survey forecasts," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 159, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    11. Kaufmann, Daniel & Scheufele, Rolf, 2017. "Business tendency surveys and macroeconomic fluctuations," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 878-893.
    12. Heiner Mikosch, 2012. "Sticky Prices, Competition and the Phillips Curve," KOF Working papers 12-294, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    output gap; capacity utilisation; real-time analysis; survey data;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • 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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