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Do leading indicators lead peaks more than troughs?

  • Paap, R.
  • Segers, R.
  • van Dijk, D.J.C.

We develop a formal statistical approach to investigate the possibility that leading indicator variables have different lead times at business cycle peaks and troughs. For this purpose, we propose a novel Markov switching vector autoregressive model, where economic growth and leading indicators share a common Markov process determining the state, but such that their cycles are non-synchronous with the non-synchronicity varying across the different regimes. An empirical application to monthly US industrial production (IP) and The Conference Board's Composite Index of Leading Indicators (CLI) for the period 1959-2004 shows that on average the CLI leads IP by more than seven months at peaks, but only by three and a half months at troughs. In terms of timeliness, the CLI is therefore most useful for signalling oncoming recessions. Furthermore, we find that allowing for asymmetric lead times leads to improved real-time dating of business cycle peaks and troughs and more accurate forecasts of turning points and IP growth.

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Paper provided by Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute in its series Econometric Institute Research Papers with number EI 2007-08.

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Date of creation: 20 Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ems:eureir:9230
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  1. Albert, James H & Chib, Siddhartha, 1993. "Bayes Inference via Gibbs Sampling of Autoregressive Time Series Subject to Markov Mean and Variance Shifts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(1), pages 1-15, January.
  2. Chib, Siddhartha, 1996. "Calculating posterior distributions and modal estimates in Markov mixture models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 79-97, November.
  3. Chauvet, Marcelle & Piger, Jeremy, 2008. "A Comparison of the Real-Time Performance of Business Cycle Dating Methods," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 42-49, January.
  4. Richard Paap & Herman K. van Dijk, 1999. "Bayes Estimates of Markov Trends in possibly Cointegrated Series: An Application to US Consumption and Income," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-024/4, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Filardo, Andrew J, 1994. "Business-Cycle Phases and Their Transitional Dynamics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 299-308, July.
  6. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-44, January.
  7. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1997. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Research Paper 9735, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Maximo Camacho & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "This is what the leading indicators lead," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(1), pages 61-80.
  9. Sichel, Daniel E, 1994. "Inventories and the Three Phases of the Business Cycle," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 269-77, July.
  10. Chauvet, Marcelle, 1998. "An Econometric Characterization of Business Cycle Dynamics with Factor Structure and Regime Switching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 969-96, November.
  11. Swanson, N.R. & van Dijk, D.J.C., 2001. "Are statistical reporting agencies getting it right? Data rationality and business cycle asymmetry," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2001-28, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  12. Clements, Michael P & Krolzig, Hans-Martin, 2003. "Business Cycle Asymmetries: Characterization and Testing Based on Markov-Switching Autoregressions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(1), pages 196-211, January.
  13. Hamilton, James D & Perez-Quiros, Gabriel, 1996. "What Do the Leading Indicators Lead?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(1), pages 27-49, January.
  14. 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.
  15. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  16. Diebold, Francis X & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1996. "Measuring Business Cycles: A Modern Perspective," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 67-77, February.
  17. Herrera, Ana Maria & Pesavento, Elena, 2005. "The Decline in U.S. Output Volatility: Structural Changes and Inventory Investment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 462-472, October.
  18. Hans-Martin Krolzig & Michael Clements, 2000. "Business Cycle Asymmetries: Characterisation and Testing based on Markov-Switching Autoregressions," Economics Series Working Papers 2000-W32, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  19. Marcelle Chauvet & James D. Hamilton, 2005. "Dating Business Cycle Turning Points," NBER Working Papers 11422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "State-Space Models with Regime Switching: Classical and Gibbs-Sampling Approaches with Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262112388, June.
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