A Tale of Three Seasonal Adjustment Procedures: The Case of Sweden's GDP
The paper compares the search for structural breaks in Sweden's GDP conducted with X-11 seasonally adjusted data, with seasonally unadjusted data, and with temporally aggregated data. A structural break (in 1980) is found only in the X-11 adjusted data, it is plausible to conclude that this break is due to data distortions (particularly, distortions caused by the application of the filter). However, this interpretation is only plausible a posteriori: had the seasonally unadjusted data not been available, the break found in the adjusted series could be just as well interpreted as a break in the economy and not as a break in the data. The study suggests that seasonally adjusted data should not be used when the unadjusted version is also available.
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