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Forecasting turning points in Canada

  • Reinhart, Carmen
  • Reinhart, Vincent

Economists have long been involved in the search for a few key indicators that predict the behavior of market economies. For Canada, it has been shown that the yield curve reliably tilts down and that real M1 growth declines before economic contraction, but this has been demonstrated almost exclusively in the context of single estimation equations or atheoretical VARs. This paper offers an alternative approach to the study of economic turning points. To qualify as a business-cycle indicator, a variable must behave differently when an economy is approaching or in recession than it does during economic expansions. That simple logic admits a variety of parametric and nonparametric tests of a variable’s usefulness, in forecasting. We examine the behavior around recessions of sixteen Canadian and U.S. time series. In the end we find that only the slopes of the Canadian and the U.S. term structure meet the prespecified criteria; the change in the nominal MCI and in real M1 follow behind.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13884.

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Date of creation: Mar 1996
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13884
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  1. Ben Bernanke, 1990. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transnission," NBER Working Papers 3487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert D. Laurent, 1988. "An interest rate-based indicator of monetary policy," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jan, pages 3-14.
  3. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1989. "New Indexes of Coincident and Leading Economic Indicators," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 351-409 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  5. Diebold, Francis X & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1989. "Scoring the Leading Indicators," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 369-91, July.
  6. Zuliu Hu, 1993. "The Yield Curve and Real Activity," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(4), pages 781-806, December.
  7. Friedman, Benjamin M & Kuttner, Kenneth N, 1992. "Money, Income, Prices, and Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 472-92, June.
  8. Neftici, Salih N., 1982. "Optimal prediction of cyclical downturns," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 225-241, November.
  9. Barry Cozier & Greg Tkacz, 1994. "The Term Structure and Real Activity in Canada," Macroeconomics 9406001, EconWPA, revised 23 Jun 1994.
  10. Estrella, Arturo & Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1991. " The Term Structure as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 555-76, June.
  11. Tiff Macklem & Alain Paquet & Louis Phaneuf, 1996. "Asymmetric Effects of Monetary Policy: Evidence from the Yield Curve," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 42, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  12. Zuliu Hu, 1993. "The Yield Curve and Real Activity," IMF Working Papers 93/19, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1995. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates and Its Role in Monetary Policy for The European Central Bank," NBER Working Papers 5279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Duguay, Pierre, 1994. "Empirical evidence on the strength of the monetary transmission mechanism in Canada: An aggregate approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 39-61, February.
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