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Should Transportation Output be Included as Part of the Coincident Indicators System?


  • Kajal Lahiri
  • Wenxiong Yao


With the increasing importance of the service-providing sectors, information from these sectors has become essential to the understanding of contemporary business cycles. This paper explores the usefulness of the transportation services output index (TSI) as an additional coincident indicator in determining the peaks and troughs of U.S. economy. The index represents a service sector that plays a central role in facilitating economic activities between sectors and across regions, and can be useful in monitoring the current state of the economy. We evaluate the marginal contribution of the TSI in identifying cyclical turning points in the context of four currently used NBER indicators. The TSI is found to have advantages over the composite index of coincident indicators in identifying turning points, and has been of critical importance in recent recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kajal Lahiri & Wenxiong Yao, 2011. "Should Transportation Output be Included as Part of the Coincident Indicators System?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3477, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3477

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harding, Don & Pagan, Adrian, 2002. "Dissecting the cycle: a methodological investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 365-381, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arora, Vipin & Lieskovsky, Jozef, 2016. "Electricity Use as an Indicator of U.S. Economic Activity," EconStor Research Reports 126147, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    2. Boriss Siliverstovs, 2015. "Dissecting the purchasing managers' index," KOF Working papers 15-376, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

    More about this item


    transportation services index (TSI); business cycles; coincident indicators;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General


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