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A dynamic factor model of the yield curve as a predictor of the economy

  • Marcelle Chauvet
  • Zeynep Senyuz

In this paper, we propose an econometric model of the joint dynamic relationship between the yield curve and the economy to predict business cycles. We examine the predictive value of the yield curve to forecast future economic growth as well as the beginning and end of economic recessions at the monthly frequency. The proposed nonlinear multivariate dynamic factor model takes into account not only the popular term spread but also information extracted from the level and curvature of the yield curve and from macroeconomic variables. The nonlinear model is used to investigate the interrelationship between the phases of the bond market and of the business cycle. The results indicate a strong interrelation between these two sectors. The proposed factor model of the yield curve exhibits substantial incremental predictive value compared to several alternative specifications. This result holds in-sample and out-of-sample, using revised or real time unrevised data.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2012-32.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-32
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  1. Rossi, Barbara & Giacomini, Raffaella, 2005. "How Stable is the Forecasting Performance of the Yield Curve for Outpot Growth?," Working Papers 05-08, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Chauvet, Marcelle & Potter, Simon, 2002. "Predicting a recession: evidence from the yield curve in the presence of structural breaks," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 245-253, October.
  3. Ang, Andrew & Piazzesi, Monika & Wei, Min, 2006. "What does the yield curve tell us about GDP growth?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 359-403.
  4. Francis X. Diebold & Canlin Li, 2003. "Forecasting the Term Structure of Government Bond Yields," NBER Working Papers 10048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bai, Jushan, 1997. "Estimating Multiple Breaks One at a Time," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 315-352, June.
  6. Kim, C-J., 1991. "Dynamic Linear Models with Markov-Switching," Papers 91-8, York (Canada) - Department of Economics.
  7. Chib, Siddhartha, 1998. "Estimation and comparison of multiple change-point models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 221-241, June.
  8. Joseph G. Haubrich & Ann M. Dombrosky, 1996. "Predicting real growth using the yield curve," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 26-35.
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