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Tracking Growth and the Business Cycle: a Stochastic Common Cycle Model for the Euro Area

  • João Valle e Azevedo
  • Siem Jan Koopman
  • António Rua

This paper proposes a new model-based method to obtain a coincident indicator for the business cycle. A dynamic factor model with trend components and a common cycle component is considered which can be estimated using standard maximum likelihood methods. The multivariate unobserved components model includes a stationary higher order cycle. Also higher order trends can be part of the analysis. These generalisations lead to a business cycle that is similar to a band-pass one. Furthermore, cycle shifts for individual time series are incorporated within the model and estimated simultaneously with the remaining parameters. This feature permits the use of leading, coincident and lagging variables to obtain the business cycle coincident indicator without prior analysis of their lead-lag relationship. Besides the business cycle indicator, the model-based approach also allows to get a growth rate indicator. In the empirical analysis for the Euro area, both indicators are obtained based on nine key economic time series including gross domestic product, industrial production, unemployment, confidence indicators and interest rate spread. This analysis contrasts sharply with earlier multivariate approaches. In particular, our more parsimonious approach leads to a growth rate indicator for the Euro area that is similar to the one of EuroCOIN. The latter is based on a more involved approach by any standard and uses hundreds of time series from individual countries belonging to the Euro area.

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Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w200316.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w200316
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  1. Harvey, A.C. & Trimbur, T.M., 2001. "General Model-based Filters for Extracting Cycles and Trends in Economic Time Series," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0113, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 1999. "The reliability of output gap estimates in real time," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-38, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Altissimo, Filippo & Bassanetti, Antonio & Cristadoro, Riccardo & Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Veronese, Giovanni, 2001. "EuroCOIN: A Real Time Coincident Indicator of the Euro Area Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 3108, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1999. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Identification and Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Koopman, S.J.M. & Shephard, N. & Doornik, J.A., 1998. "Statistical Algorithms for Models in State Space Using SsfPack 2.2," Discussion Paper 1998-141, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Durbin, James & Koopman, Siem Jan, 2001. "Time Series Analysis by State Space Methods," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198523543, May.
  8. Gomez, Victor, 2001. "The Use of Butterworth Filters for Trend and Cycle Estimation in Economic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 365-73, July.
  9. Roberto S. Mariano & Yasutomo Murasawa, 2003. "A new coincident index of business cycles based on monthly and quarterly series," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 427-443.
  10. Harvey, A C & Jaeger, A, 1993. "Detrending, Stylized Facts and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 231-47, July-Sept.
  11. Stock, J.H. & Watson, M.W., 1989. "New Indexes Of Coincident And Leading Economic Indicators," Papers 178d, Harvard - J.F. Kennedy School of Government.
  12. Filippo Altissimo & Antonio Bassanetti & Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin & Giovanni Veronese, 2001. "A real time coincident indicator of the euro area business cycle," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 436, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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