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A real-time recession indicator for the Euro area


  • Ferrara, Laurent


In this paper, we propose a new coincident monthly indicator to detect in real-time the start and the end of an economic recession phase for the Euro area. In this respect, we use the methodology proposed in Anas and Ferrara (2002, 2004) as regards the recession indicator for the US, based on Markov-Switching processes popularized in economics by Hamilton (1989). By using a set of four monthly time series, we show that this start-end recession indicator (SERI) is able to reproduce all the recession phases experienced by the Euro area since 1970. Concerning the last low phase of the growth cycle in the Euro area, started in 2001, empirical results show that the Euro area experienced a « quasi-recession » phase, located between the end of the 2001 year and the beginning of 2002, without a global recession. This is due to a lack of diffusion of this phenomena among the main Eurozone countries, though it was synchronized.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferrara, Laurent, 2006. "A real-time recession indicator for the Euro area," MPRA Paper 4042, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4042

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sichel, Daniel E, 1994. "Inventories and the Three Phases of the Business Cycle," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 269-277, July.
    2. Pilar Bengoechea & Gabriel Pérez-Quirós, 2004. "A useful tool to identify recessions in the euro-area," Working Papers 0419, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    3. Krolzig, H.-M. & Toro, J., 1999. "A New Approach to the Analysis of Shocks and the Cycle in a Model of Output and Employment," Economics Working Papers eco99/30, European University Institute.
    4. Camacho, Maximo & Perez-Quiros, Gabriel & Saiz, Lorena, 2008. "Do European business cycles look like one?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 2165-2190, July.
    5. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-384, March.
    6. Laurent Ferrara, 2007. "Point and interval nowcasts of the Euro area IPI," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 115-120.
    7. Hamilton, James D., 1996. "Specification testing in Markov-switching time-series models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 127-157, January.
    8. Marcelle Chauvet & Jeremy M. Piger, 2003. "Identifying business cycle turning points in real time," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 47-61.
    9. Nigel Pain & Franck Sédillot, 2006. "Indicator models of real GDP growth in the major OECD economies," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2005(1), pages 167-217.
    10. Anas, Jacques & Ferrara, Laurent, 2002. "Un indicateur d'entrée et sortie de récession: application aux Etats-Unis
      [A start-end recession index: Application for United-States]
      ," MPRA Paper 4043, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Perron, Pierre, 1997. "Further evidence on breaking trend functions in macroeconomic variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 355-385, October.
    12. Garcia, Rene, 1998. "Asymptotic Null Distribution of the Likelihood Ratio Test in Markov Switching Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 763-788, August.
    13. Clements, Michael P & Krolzig, Hans-Martin, 2003. "Business Cycle Asymmetries: Characterization and Testing Based on Markov-Switching Autoregressions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(1), pages 196-211, January.
    14. Peter Grasmann & Filip Keereman, 2001. "An indicator-based short-term forecast for quarterly GDP in the euro area," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 154, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    15. Ferrara, Laurent, 2003. "A three-regime real-time indicator for the US economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 373-378, December.
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    More about this item


    Recession; real-time; probabilistic indicator; Euro area;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models

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