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Monthly US business cycle indicators: A new multivariate approach based on a band-pass filter

  • Marczak, Martyna
  • Gómez, Victor

This article proposes a new multivariate method to construct business cycle indicators. The method is based on a decomposition into trend-cycle and irregular. To derive the cycle, a multivariate band-pass filter is applied to the estimated trend-cycle. The whole procedure is fully model-based. Using a set of monthly and quarterly US time series, two monthly business cycle indicators are obtained for the US. They are represented by the smoothed cycles of real GDP and the industrial production index. Both indicators are able to reproduce previous recessions very well. Series contributing to the construction of both indicators are allowed to be leading, lagging or coincident relative to the business cycle. Their behavior is assessed by means of the phase angle and the mean phase angle after cycle estimation. The proposed multivariate method can serve as an attractive tool for policy making, in particular due to its good forecasting performance and quite simple setting. The model ensures reliable realtime forecasts even though it does not involve elaborate mechanisms that account for, e.g., changes in volatility.

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Paper provided by University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID) in its series FZID Discussion Papers with number 64-2013.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:fziddp:642013
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  1. Bańbura, Marta & Giannone, Domenico & Modugno, Michele & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2013. "Now-casting and the real-time data flow," Working Paper Series 1564, European Central Bank.
  2. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & David H Small, 2007. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real-Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 164, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  3. Margaret McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  4. Stock, J.H. & Watson, M.W., 1989. "New Indexes Of Coincident And Leading Economic Indicators," Papers 178d, Harvard - J.F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic-Factor Model: Identification And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 540-554, November.
  6. Andrew C. Harvey & Thomas M. Trimbur, 2003. "General Model-Based Filters for Extracting Cycles and Trends in Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 244-255, May.
  7. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Marczak, Martyna & Gómez, Víctor, 2012. "SPECTRAN, a set of Matlab programs for Spectral analysis," FZID Discussion Papers 60-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  9. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, July.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Marczak, Martyna & Beissinger, Thomas, 2010. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5199, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Gerhard Runstler, 2004. "Modelling phase shifts among stochastic cycles," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(1), pages 232-248, 06.
  14. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  15. Valle e Azevedo, Joao & Koopman, Siem Jan & Rua, Antonio, 2006. "Tracking the Business Cycle of the Euro Area: A Multivariate Model-Based Bandpass Filter," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 278-290, July.
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