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A More Timely and Useful Index of Leading Indicators

Author

Listed:
  • Robert H. McGuckin

    (The Conference Board)

  • Ataman Ozyildirim

    () (The Conference Board)

  • Victor Zarnowitz

    () (The Conference Board)

Abstract

Effectively predicting cyclical movements in the economy is a major challenge. While there are other approaches to forecasting, the U.S. leading index has long been used to analyze and predict economic fluctuations. We describe and test a new procedure for making the index more timely. The new index significantly outperforms its less timely counterpart and offers substantial gains in real-time out-of-sample forecasts of changes in aggregate economic activity and industrial production. It provides timely and accurate ex-ante information for predicting, not only the business cycle turning points, but the monthly changes in the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert H. McGuckin & Ataman Ozyildirim & Victor Zarnowitz, 2003. "A More Timely and Useful Index of Leading Indicators," Economics Program Working Papers 03-01, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
  • Handle: RePEc:cnf:wpaper:0301
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    File URL: http://www.conference-board.org/economics/workingpapers.cfm?pdf=E-0010-03-WP
    File Function: Revised version, 2003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ataman Ozyildirim & Brian Schaitkin & Victor Zarnowitz, 2010. "Business cycles in the euro area defined with coincident economic indicators and predicted with leading economic indicators," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1-2), pages 6-28.
    2. Paap, Richard & Segers, Rene & van Dijk, Dick, 2009. "Do Leading Indicators Lead Peaks More Than Troughs?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 528-543.
    3. Donadelli, Michael & Paradiso, Antonio & Riedel, Max, 2016. "A quasi real-time leading indicator for the EU industrial production," SAFE Working Paper Series 118 [rev.], Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    4. Aruoba, S. BoraÄŸan & Diebold, Francis X. & Scotti, Chiara, 2009. "Real-Time Measurement of Business Conditions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 417-427.
    5. Lleo, Sebastien & Ziemba, William T., 2014. "Does the bond-stock earning yield differential model predict equity market corrections better than high P/E models?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59290, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Heij, Christiaan & van Dijk, Dick & Groenen, Patrick J.F., 2011. "Real-time macroeconomic forecasting with leading indicators: An empirical comparison," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 466-481.
    7. Golinelli, Roberto & Parigi, Giuseppe, 2014. "Tracking world trade and GDP in real time," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 847-862.
    8. Bouwman, Kees E. & Jacobs, Jan P.A.M., 2011. "Forecasting with real-time macroeconomic data: The ragged-edge problem and revisions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 784-792.
    9. Thomas Gilbert & Shimon Kogan & Lars Lochstoer & Ataman Ozyildirim, 2012. "Investor Inattention and the Market Impact of Summary Statistics," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(2), pages 336-350, February.
    10. Alessandro Girardi & Roberto Golinelli & Carmine Pappalardo, 2017. "The role of indicator selection in nowcasting euro-area GDP in pseudo-real time," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 79-99, August.
    11. Robert H. McGuckin & Ataman Ozyildirim, 2004. "Real-Time Tests of the Leading Economic Index: Do Changes in the Index Composition Matter?," Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2004(2), pages 171-191.
    12. van Dijk, D.J.C. & Franses, Ph.H.B.F. & Ravazzolo, F., 2007. "Evaluating real-time forecasts in real-time," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2007-33, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    13. Henk Kranendonk & Jan Bonenkamp & Johan Verbruggen, 2004. "A leading indicator for the Dutch economy; methodological and empirical revision of the CPB system," CPB Discussion Paper 32, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    14. Giuseppe Munda, 2015. "Beyond Gdp: An Overview Of Measurement Issues In Redefining ‘Wealth’," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 403-422, July.
    15. Heij, C. & van Dijk, D.J.C. & Groenen, P.J.F., 2009. "Macroeconomic forecasting with real-time data: an empirical comparison," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2009-27, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    16. Levanon, Gad & Manini, Jean-Claude & Ozyildirim, Ataman & Schaitkin, Brian & Tanchua, Jennelyn, 2015. "Using financial indicators to predict turning points in the business cycle: The case of the leading economic index for the United States," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 426-445.
    17. Petreski, Marjan, 2013. "Assessing the forecasting power of the leading composite index in Macedonia," MPRA Paper 49433, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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