The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
There is ample empirical evidence for developed economies that asset prices contain information about future economic developments. But is this also the case in transition economies? Using a panel of monthly data for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, and Slovenia for the period 1994-1999 it is shown that historical values for interest rates, exchange rates, and stock prices signal future movements in real economic activity. This result has significant implications for policymakers, and a composite leading indicator based on the three asset prices is presented, which contains information about the future development of economic activity.