Consumers, Consumer Prices and the Czech Business Cycle Identification
In this paper we propose an alternative method for deriving the business cycle. We interpret the varying inflationary responses to a constant demand shock in a partial equilibrium model. An above-average inflationary response indicates a boom phase and a below-average response shows an economic slowdown. Our model uses data for prices and household budget shares which are not subject to revisions and are consistent with the inflation measure. Hence, it mitigates the common drawbacks of usually applied techniques, such as real-time data mismeasurement or end-point bias of univariate filters. It follows that the results are altered neither by GDP data revisions, labor share determination and NAIRU estimation and total productivity smoothing, nor by the end-point bias of data filtering. The proposed method is thus preferred to other complementary methods such as GDP series filtering or the production function approach in showing truly the inflation environment. It is applied to the Czech quarterly data during 1994- 2003 and compared to other available business cycle estimates for the Czech economy. Comparing our business cycle estimation method with the production function method, used by the Economic Intelligence Unit and the Czech Ministry of Finance, and the Kalman filter, used by the Czech National Bank, we found the highest correlation between our measure and the Economic Intelligence Unit's indicator.
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