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Money, interest rate spreads, and economic activity

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  • Sauer, Christine
  • Scheide, Joachim

Abstract

Numerous empirical studies for industrial countries have shown that the term structure of interest rates is a good indicator for future output growth. This paper addresses the question whether the interest rate spread contains any additional predictive power if information on the money stock is already included in the model. A multivariate error-correction framework is applied to three large European economies - France, Germany, and ltaly. The importance of various (real) monetary aggregates and the term structure is investigated with Granger causality tests. The models also include the terms of trade as an indicator of real disturbances. The evidence concerning the marginal information content of the interest rate spread is mixed. For France and ltaly, the variable does not improve the results of the basic model whereas it plays a significant role in the case of Germany. We conclude that policy makers and market participants should check carefully whether the term structure can improve business cycle forecasts. Regardless of its indicator qualities, however, the variable should not be viewed as a possible intermediate target for monetary policy. The term structure does not provide an anchor for the price level and. thus, is not an alternative to monetary targeting.
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  • Sauer, Christine & Scheide, Joachim, 1995. "Money, interest rate spreads, and economic activity," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 1664, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:1664
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1990. "What does the term structure tell us about future inflation?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 77-95, January.
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    6. 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 555-576, June.
    7. Zuliu Hu, 1993. "The Yield Curve and Real Activity," IMF Working Papers 93/19, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. van Bergeijk, Peter A. G. & Berk, Jan Marc, 2000. "Is the yield curve a useful Information variable for the Eurosystem?," Working Paper Series 0011, European Central Bank.
    2. Katja Drechsel & Rolf Scheufele, 2012. "The Financial Crisis from a Forecaster’s Perspective," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 45(1), pages 1-26.
    3. repec:kap:iaecre:v:9:y:2003:i:4:p:268-278 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jens Boysen-Hogrefe, 2012. "A note on predicting recessions in the euro area using real M1," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1291-1301.
    5. Ivanova, Detelina & Lahiri, Kajal & Seitz, Franz, 2000. "Interest rate spreads as predictors of German inflation and business cycles," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 39-58.
    6. Abad, Pilar & Novales, Alfonso, 2005. "An error correction factor model of term structure slopes in international swap markets," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 229-254, July.
    7. Jens Boysen‐Hogrefe, 2015. "Monetary Aggregates to Improve Early Output Gap Estimates in the Euro Area: An Empirical Assessment," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(7), pages 533-542, November.
    8. Döpke, Jörg, 1999. "Predicting Germany's recessions with leading indicators: Evidence from probit models," Kiel Working Papers 944, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. Nikolaos Mylonidis, 2003. "Financial variables as leading indicators in Greece," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 9(4), pages 268-278, November.
    10. Noor Ghazali & Soo-Wah Low, 2002. "The expectation hypothesis in emerging financial markets: the case of Malaysia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(9), pages 1147-1156.
    11. Brand, Claus & Reimers, Hans-Eggert & Seitz, Franz, 2003. "Forecasting real GDP: what role for narrow money?," Working Paper Series 254, European Central Bank.
    12. Gebhardt Kirschgässner & Marcel Savioz, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Forecasts for Real GDP Growth: An Empirical Investigation for the Federal Republic of Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 2(4), pages 339-365, November.
    13. Claus Brand & Hans-Eggert Reimers & Franz Seitz, 2003. "Narrow Money and the Business Cycle: Theoretical aspects and euro area evdence," Macroeconomics 0303012, EconWPA.
    14. Fritsche Ulrich & Stephan Sabine, 2002. "Leading Indicators of German Business Cycles. An Assessment of Properties / Frühindikatoren der deutschen Konjunktur. Eine Beurteilung ihrer Eigenschaften," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 222(3), pages 289-315, June.

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