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The Seasonal Cycle in U.S. Manufacturing

  • J. Joseph Beaulieu
  • Jeffrey A. Miron


This paper examines the seasonal cycle in the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy. we present estimates of the seasonal patterns in monthly data for 2-digit industries, and we demonstrate the similarity of the seasonal cycle and the business cycle in manufacturing with respect to several key stylized facts about business cycles. The results are an important addition to those in Barsky and Miron (1989) because the monthly data for manufacturing display interesting seasonal fluctuations that are hidden in the quarterly data examined by Barsky and Miron. The most significant is a sharp slowdown in July followed by a significant rebound in August. We argue that this event is not easily explained by technology or preference shifts but instead results from synergies across economic agents.

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Paper provided by Boston University - Industry Studies Programme in its series Papers with number 0012.

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Date of creation: Aug 1990
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:bostin:0012
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Boston University, Industry Studies Program; Department of Economics, 270 Bay Road, Boston, Massachusetts 02215.

Phone: 617-353-4389
Fax: 617-353-4449
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  1. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  2. Miron, Jeffrey A. & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1989. "Production, sales, and the change in inventories : An identity that doesn't add up," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 31-51, July.
  3. Charles I. Plosser, 1978. "A Time Series Analysis of Seasonality in Econometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: Seasonal Analysis of Economic Time Series, pages 365-408 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1983. "The Production and Inventory Behavior of the American Automobile Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 365-400, June.
  5. Hall, Robert E & Lilien, David M, 1979. "Efficient Wage Bargains under Uncertain Supply and Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 868-79, December.
  6. Jeffrey A. Miron & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Seasonality, Cost Shocks and the Production Smoothing Model of Inventories," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 01-87, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  7. Barsky, Robert B & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1989. "The Seasonal Cycle and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 503-34, June.
  8. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Ray C. Fair, 1989. "The Production Smoothing Model is Alive and Well," NBER Working Papers 2877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Beaulieu, J Joseph & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1992. "A Cross Country Comparison of Seasonal Cycles and Business Cycles," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 772-88, July.
  11. Hylleberg, S. & Engle, R.F. & Granger, C.W.J. & Yoo, B.S., 1988. "Seasonal, Integration And Cointegration," Papers 6-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  12. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  13. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
  14. Martin S. Eichenbaum, 1988. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Production Level and Production Cost Smoothing Models of Inventory Investment," NBER Working Papers 2523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Alan S. Blinder, 1986. "Can the Production Smoothing Model of Inventory Behavior be Saved?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 431-453.
  16. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Robert E. Hall, 1989. "Temporal Agglomeration," NBER Working Papers 3143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Danny Quah & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1988. "A Common Error in the Treatment of Trending Time Series," Working papers 483, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1989. "Building Blocks of Market Clearing Business Cycle Models," NBER Working Papers 3004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Kahn, J.A., 1990. "The Seasonal And Cyclical Behavior Of Inventories," RCER Working Papers 223, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  21. Christopher A. Sims, 1974. "Output and Labor Input in Manufacturing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 5(3), pages 695-736.
  22. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1987. "Sectoral vs. Aggregate Shocks in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 333-36, May.
  23. Plosser, Charles I., 1979. "The analysis of seasonal economic models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 147-163, June.
  24. West, Kenneth D., 1983. "A note on the econometric use of constant dollar inventory series," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 337-341.
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