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 has been growing interest in the use of financial spreads as advance indicators of real activity and inflation. Empirical evidence is marshalled on a range of spreads when these are used in vector autoregressive models of the UK and German economies. It is found that they do have significant information, even after allowing for the effects of other influences upon macro-economic activity.