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.
The term structure of domestic investment grade bond spreads - or corporate spread curve - contains useful information to predict future changes in industrial production, beyond the information already contained in interest rates, commercial paper-treasury bill spreads, and lagged values of industrial production. In fact, the corporate spread curve can explain the cumulative growth rate of industrial production over 3- to 48-month horizons, and the marginal growth rate over 6- to 18-month horizons. Unlike other financial variables, the corporate spread curve has been a stable predictor of real activity for the last fifteen years.