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Do survey indicators let us see the business cycle ? A frequency decomposition

Author

Listed:
  • Luc Dresse

    () (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • Christophe Van Nieuwenhuyze

    () (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

Abstract

This paper uses a frequency domain approach to gain insight into the correlation between survey indicators and year-on-year GDP growth. Using the Baxter-King filter, we split up each series into three components: a short-term, a business cycle (oscillations between 18 and 96 months) and a long-term component. We then calculate how much of the variation of the survey series and GDP growth can be ascribed to these different components. Finally, we use this information together with an analysis of the correlation between survey indicators and year-on-year GDP growth at the different frequencies to explain their overall correlation. We show that survey indicators, similar to year-on-year GDP growth, do not perfectly reflect business cycle movements but contain cycles of other frequencies. Long-term cycles, in particular, are a nontrivial part of the series' variance. Furthermore, there exist some clear relations between the weight of these cycles in the survey indicators and their correlation with GDP growth. In general, the larger the business cycle component, the larger the correlation, while the opposite is true for the short-term component. The evidence for the long-term component is mixed: although a long-term component seems necessary as the correlation at this frequency is the highest, strong or weak long-term components are typically idiosyncratic, dragging down the overall correlation between the indicator and year-on-year GDP growth. The paper applies this methodology to the euro area countries (EC survey indicators) and to Belgium separately (NBB business survey indicators). The results are highly comparable

Suggested Citation

  • Luc Dresse & Christophe Van Nieuwenhuyze, 2008. "Do survey indicators let us see the business cycle ? A frequency decomposition," Working Paper Research 131, National Bank of Belgium.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200803-31
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    File URL: https://www.nbb.be/doc/oc/repec/reswpp/wp131en.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
    2. Michael Massmann & James Mitchell, 2005. "Reconsidering the Evidence: Are Euro Area Business Cycles Converging?," Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2004(3), pages 275-307.
    3. Michael A. Kouparitsas, 2003. "International business cycles under fixed and flexible exchange rate regimes," Working Paper Series WP-03-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    4. Rua, Antonio & Nunes, Luis C., 2005. "Coincident and leading indicators for the euro area: A frequency band approach," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 503-523.
    5. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    6. Christian Gayer, 2006. "Forecast Evaluation of European Commission Survey Indicators," Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2005(2), pages 157-183.
    7. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, January.
    8. Raymond E. Owens & Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte, 2005. "How well do diffusion indexes capture business cycles? A spectral analysis," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 23-42.
    9. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Business cycle fluctuations in us macroeconomic time series," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-64 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. I. De Greef & C. Van Nieuwenhuyze, 2009. "The National Bank of Belgium, Research Department’s new business survey indicator," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue ii, pages 31-51, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Baxter-King; spectral analysis; survey indicators; correlation;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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